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Spears v. Ruth, No. 09-5408

By FindLaw Staff on December 10, 2009 12:07 PM

In a suit brought by the family of an individual who died eleven months after being in police custody for public intoxication, denial of a summary judgment motion by an officer and the City of Cleveland is reversed and remanded where: 1) plaintiffs have not established the obvious existence of a sufficiently serious medical need; 2) there is no evidence that the officer was aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm existed, and that he drew that inference and chose to disregard the risk; 3) as such, because no constitutional violation occurred, the officer is entitled to qualified immunity; and 4) the city is entitled to summary judgment because the record as a whole does not support an inference that a reasonable trier of fact could find a causal connection between either officer's actions or the police chief's no-transport policy and the decedent's injuries.     

Read Spears v. Ruth, No. 09-5408

Appellate Information

Argued: November 18, 2009

Decided and Filed: December 10, 2009


Opinion by Circuit Judge Martin


For Appellant:  Reid A. Spaulding, Watson Roach Batson Rowell & Lauderback, PLC

For Appellee:  Zachary H. Greene, Miller & Martin PLLC

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