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Sallenger v. City of Springfield, 08-3769

By FindLaw Staff on December 17, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Civil rights suit against police and city for death of arrestee

Sallenger v. City of Springfield, 08-3769, concerned an estate's civil rights suit against police officers and a city for causing plaintiff's death during his arrest, claiming that the officers inadequately responded to the plaintiff's medical needs during the course of the arrest and that the city failed to train the officers in how to use hobbles (a cord that is looped around a suspect's lower legs and then connected to a strap that is attached to handcuffs).


In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the court held that the record is clear that the officers began CPR and called paramedics as soon as they realized that the plaintiff was not breathing, which satisfies the Fourth Amendment's reasonable standard.  The court also held that, because the officers did not violate the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights by the way in which they used the hobble, the city itself cannot be liable under Monell v. Department of Social Services for failure to properly train them in the use of the device.

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