United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Cherie Marie Hanson, as trustee for the next of kin of Andrew Derek Layton, Plaintiff,
Daniel Best, Audrey Burgess, Craig Frericks, Kyley Groby, Matthew Huettl and Kenneth Baker, individually and acting in their official capacities as City of Mankato Department of Public Safety Police Officers; Gold Cross Ambulance, Michael Jason Burt and Thomas John Drews, Defendants.
Behrenbrinker and Bryce Miller, Collins, Buckley, Gauntry
& Haugh, PLLP, Counsel for Plaintiff.
E. Flynn, Pat J. Skoglund and Vicki A. Hruby, Jardine, Logan
& O'Brien, P.L.L.P, Counsel for Defendants Best,
Burgess, Frericks, Goby, Huettl and Baker.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis United States District Court
matter is before the Court on Defendant Mankato Police
Officers' motion for summary judgment.
a.m. on January 1, 2013, Mankato Police Officers Daniel Best
and Kenneth Baker were dispatched to Hy-Vee to check on a
male, later identified as Andrew Layton, who was sleeping in
the unheated foyer. (Hruby Aff., Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 22-23);
Miller Decl. Ex. O (Best Dep. at 28).) Best arrived at the
Hy- Vee at 4:45 a.m., and observed Layton curled up in a
fetal position. (Miller Decl. Ex. O (Best Dep. at 32).) He
was wearing a winter coat, a hoodie was pulled up over his
head and he was wearing white sneakers. (Id.; Hruby
Aff., Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 33).) Best assumed Layton was
intoxicated and asleep. (Id. at 34.)
went over to Layton and tapped him with his left hand, after
which he started to stir and flex his limbs. (Id. at
34.) In his police report, Best wrote that Layton then leaned
into him and attempted to push him into the carts.
(Id., Ex. 31 (Best Report at 2).) At his deposition,
Best testified that Layton shoved him into the carts.
(Id. Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 36).) In response to
Layton's reaction, Best used physical force to put Layton
on the ground and on his stomach using a foot sweep
technique. (Id. at 38.) Best then got on top of
Layton, with his chest to Layton's back, in order to keep
Layton down. (Id. at 39.) Layton began to moan,
growl and make other loud noises. (Id. Ex. 7 (Best
Squad Video).) Best then radioed for immediate assistance,
airing “16. Fighting.” (Id. Ex. 1 (Best
Dep. at 39).)
then repeatedly ordered Layton to put his hands behind his
back, but Layton instead continued to growl, thrash around,
swing his arms and twist away from Best. (Id. at
39-40, 57.) Prior to the arrival of additional officers, and
seeing that Best was fatiguing due to Layton's
resistance, Eric Klompenhower, the Hy-Vee manager, stepped in
and held down Layton's right arm. (Id. at 51;
Ex. 31 (Best Report at 2); Ex. 6 (Klompenhower Dep. at 36).)
Layton continued to resist and began to violently thrash and
kick, striking both Best and Klompenhower. (Id. Ex.
7 (Best Squad Video); Ex. 8 (Banguara Cell Video); Ex. 6
(Klompenhower Dep. at 58, 63, 68-69).) Best then told cab
driver Christopher Ahl to sit on Layton's legs, which he
did. (Id. Ex. 7 (Best Squad Video at 4:46:42); Ex. 1
(Best Dep. at 52-53).) Other Mankato officers arrived and
took over for Klumpenhower and Ahl. (Id. Ex. 31
(Best Report at 3).)
Baker testified that when he arrived, Layton was prone on the
floor lying face down struggling with Best. (Id. Ex.
2 (Baker Dep. at 46); Ex. 16 (Baker Report ¶ 4).) Baker
grabbed Layton's right upper arm and delivered three to
four knee strikes to Layton's right shoulder.
(Id. Ex. 16 (Baker Report ¶ 10).) He then knelt
on Layton's back while Layton continued to squirm.
(Id. ¶ 12.)
Huettl testified that after he arrived at the Hy-Vee, he
immediately grabbed Layton's left arm. (Id. Ex.
4 (Huettl Dep. at 42).) Layton was trying to pull his arms
under him, and to prevent Layton from using his arms to push
himself up, Huettl grabbed his arm and pulled it out from
under him. (Id. at 46.) Baker then punched Layton
five or six times in his right arm with a closed fist.
(Id. Ex. 16 (Baker Report ¶ 13).)
Officer Groby, now Lindholm, arrived at the Hy-Vee, Layton
was on his stomach and Best was on top of him, and a citizen,
Christopher Ahl, was sitting on his legs. (Id., Ex.
3 (Lindholm Dep. at 28-29); Ex. 18 (Groby Report).) Groby
told Ahl to move so she could take over. (Id. Ex. 18
(Groby Report).) Groby then put pressure on his lower back to
assist the other officers in getting Layton's arms from
underneath him. (Id. Ex. 3 (Lindholm Dep. at 36);
Ex. 18 (Groby Report).) Layton continued to resist, so Groby
applied weight to the middle of his back and held his head
down an applied pressure behind his ear in an effort to get
Layton to comply. (Id. Ex. 3 (Lindholm Dep. at 40);
Ex. 18 (Groby Report).) Layton continued to resist.
Officer Burgess, now Kranz, arrived, she saw four officers on
the floor struggling to handcuff Layton, so she took out her
taser and got down with them on the floor. (Id. Ex.
12 (Kranz Dep. at 27-28, 33).) She decided to deploy the
taser on her own in the drive-stun mode to the back of
Layton's thigh. (Id. at 33; Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at
64); Ex. 7 (Best Dash cam at 04:47:43).) Burgess had to stun
him a second time before the officers were able to handcuff
Layton's wrists behind his back. (Id. Ex. 12
(Kranz Dep. 38-39); Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 68-69); Ex. 32 (Best
Report at 3).) Two sets of cuffs were used to restrain
Layton's hands behind his back due to the fact that
Layton continued to resist. (Id., Ex. 12 (Kranz Dep.
he was handcuffed, Layton was further restrained with a RIPP
Hobble due to his continued struggles and kicking.
(Id., Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 70); Ex. 12 (Kranz Dep.
44-45).) In the process of placing Layton in the Hobble
restraint, Best was kicked two to three times in the chest
and Burgess' hand was smashed into one of the shopping
carts. (Id. Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 74); Ex. 12 (Kranz
Dep. at 37-38, 56).) After the Hobble restraint was applied,
Layton continued to struggle, rolling from side to side, in a
prone-like position. (Id. Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at
90-91); Ex. 12 (Kranz Dep. at 60); Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at
78-79).) Best admitted that after the leg restraints were
applied, he said to someone that “we're getting the
anger out of him first. Then we're taking him to
jail.” (Id. Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 82).) After
the Hobble was applied, Best was able to locate Layton's
wallet. (Id. Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 94).) When he
heard Layton's name, Baker recognized it from previous
contacts he had with Layton involving narcotics.
(Id. at 95.) Best also had prior contacts with
Layton, but did not recognize him that night. (Id.
Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 84).)
Layton continued to resist and spit on the officers, a spit
mask was put over his head. (Id. Ex. 4 (Huettl Dep.
at 63-64); Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 127); Ex. 3 (Lindholm Dep. at
71).) At 4:54 a.m., Best is heard on the squad video stating
that he believed Layton was “methed out.”
(Id. Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 80).) Commander Frericks
also admitted that he thought Layton was intoxicated on
methamphetamine. (Id. Ex. 13 (Frericks Dep. at 69).)
Frericks requested that Layton be transported to the jail by
Gold Cross ambulance because he did not believe officers
could safely transport Layton in a squad, which would require
the removal of his restraints, which was not viewed as a
viable option at that time. (Id. Ex. 13 (Frericks
Dep. at 38, 49, 69); Ex. 1 (Best Dep. at 84, 93-94, 106).)
Frericks further wanted to prevent positional asphyxia.
(Id. Ex. 19 (Frericks Report).)
waiting for the ambulance, both Baker and Huettl remained on
either side of Layton to ensure he would not harm himself.
(Id. Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 88, 184).) Layton
continued to fight the restraints and yell in an
unintelligible manner, although his resistance would stop
intermittently. (Id. at 75, 94.) In his report,
Huettl wrote that “[w]hile waiting for Gold Cross to
arrive, Layton displayed a fluxuation [sp] in moods by being
calm at time but then immediately would display ‘raging
behavior' by tensing his muscle, yelling and groaning,
pushing his body to the point of exhaustion, rocking his head
back and forth, and violently flexing and shaking.”
(Id. Ex. 17 (Huettl Report at 1).) The officers
believed that given Layton's continued resistance, it was
best to keep him on his stomach, and Baker used his hands to
press Layton's shoulders to the ground. (Id. Ex.
2 (Baker Dep. at 84-86, 184).) At the same time, Groby held
Layton's thighs to the ground, as Layton was trying to
rise to a kneeling position. (Id. Ex. 3 (Lindholm
Dep. at 72-73, 75).)
Cross arrived at the scene at 5:05 a.m. (Id. Ex. 24
(Gold Cross Report).) Paramedics Michael Burt and Thomas
Drews were advised by Baker that Layton was a known meth
abuser and an alcoholic. (Id. Ex. 23 (Drews Dep. at
73, 103).) Thereafter the paramedics assessed Layton's
medical needs and concluded his behavior did not present a
medical emergency, that he did not need emergency treatment
and could be transported safely to jail. (Id. Ex. 24
(Gold Cross Report); Ex. 22 (Burt Dep. at 95-96, 134-36,
138); Ex. 23 (Drews Dep. at 125-27).) “He had an
adequate rate, he was breathing, a patent airway,
circulation, no gross major bleeds, no life-threatening
signs.” (Id. Ex. 22 (Burt Dep. at 135-36).)
The paramedics also took into consideration information
provided by the officers that Layton's reaction was
consistent with his behavior in prior police contacts.
(Id. at 136.)
Baker, Huettl, Groby and Frericks lifted Layton onto a cot,
and his leg restraints were unhooked from the handcuffs.
(Id. Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 81); Ex. 4 (Huettl Dep. at
83); Ex. 3 (Lindholm Dep. at 91-92); Ex. 13 (Frericks Dep. at
46); Ex. 25.) The paramedics then tried to position Layton on
his side, but Layton kept rolling to the prone position.
(Id. Ex. 24 (Gold Cross Report at 2); Ex. 23 (Drews
Dep. at 163); Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 154-55).) They also placed
a pillow under his shoulder, with his head turned to the
left, so he wasn't lying flat on his stomach in the
ambulance. (Id. Ex. 22 (Burt Dep. at 114-15).) Baker
knelt on Layton's left shoulder to allow application of a
velcro wrist restraint. (Id. Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at
117-19).) After the wrist restraint was applied, Baker got
off the cot and the paramedics positioned cot straps over
Layton. (Id. at 119; Ex. 22 (Burt Dep. at 118-19).)
One witness testified that once on the gurney, she observed
Layton become “a little less active” but that he
continued to move his body. (Plaintiff Ex. Y (Devens Dep. at
and Baker rode in the ambulance with Layton, given that he
continued to resist his restraints. (Hruby Aff. Ex. 1 (Best
Dep. at 118-19); Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 113) Ex. 24 (Gold Cross
Report at 2); Ex. 22 (Burt Dep. at 127); Ex. 28 (Drews BCA
Statement at 7).) During transport, Layton continued to
struggle on the cot so Baker guided his shoulder back to the
cot so he would not fall off or get wrapped up on the loose
cot straps. (Id. Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 122-27).) At
the same time, Burt kept one hand on Layton's wrist to
feel his pulse and the other on his back to make sure he was
breathing. (Id. Ex. 24 (Gold Cross Report); Ex. 27
(Burt BCA Statement at 6).) He kept fighting until shortly
before entering the jail Sally Port, when he stopped moving,
but he was still breathing and had a pulse. (Id. Ex.
24 (Gold Cross Report at 2); Ex. 27 (Burt BCA Statement at
6.).) Burt checked his pulse and reported that he had a
radial pulse. (Id. Ex. 24 (Gold Cross Report at 2);
Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 133, 135-36); Ex. 27 (Burt BCA Statement
the jail, Layton was rolled into the booking area, where it
was discovered that he was in cardiac arrest. (Id.
Ex. 23 (Drews Dep. at 122); Ex. 2 (Baker Dep. at 137).)
Officers removed his handcuffs and CPR was initiated and
after two applications of the AED, a cardiac rhythm was
restored. (Id. Ex. 29 (Gold Cross Report at 6); Ex.
32 (Jail Video).) Layton was then transported to the
hospital. (Id. Ex. 29 (Gold Cross Report at 6).)
did not regain consciousness and died on January 5, 2013.
(Id. Ex. 30 (Autopsy).) The autopsy report states
that Layton suffered from acute pneumonia due to probable
excited delirium; atherosclerotic heart disease, multiple
abrasions and contusions, focal subgaleal hematoma (bleeding
between the skull and scalp), focal acute soft tissue neck
hemorrhage, and microvesicular hepatic steatosis (liver
disease commonly caused by tetracycline, Reyes syndrome and
hepatitis C). (Id.) The autopsy further noted that
the hospital drug screen was positive for amphetamine and
that he had an ethanol level of 0.143 g/dL. (Id.)
autopsy photos show no marks or bruising on Layton's arm,
but his face was bruised and marked with several contusions.
(Plaintiff Ex. B.) The right side of Layton's forehead
sustained a significant pressure abrasion, and the front area
of Layton's right shoulder sustained a significant
pressure abrasion. (Id.) Layton also suffered
significant neck trauma and a fracture to the hyoid bone.
(Plaintiff Ex. A (Baden Report at 5).) The autopsy report
states that “[t]he hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage are
intact.” (Hruby Aff. Ex. 30 (Autopsy at 7).)
Layton's mother, has brought a number of claims against
the defendant officers: Count I asserts a Fourth Amendment
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Count II asserts a
Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Needs claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983; Count III, Punitive Damages under