Johnson v. ReddochAnnotate this Case
Jeffrey Johnson, by a through his aunt and next friend, Sue Thompson, appeals from the Mobile Circuit Court's dismissal of his action against Jim Reddoch, in his official capacity as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health ("ADMH"), Beatrice McLean, in her official capacity as director of Searcy Hospital, and McLean and fictitiously named defendants 1 through 8 in their individual capacities. Johnson also appealed the circuit court's quashing of a subpoena served on ADMH seeking records pertaining to Johnson. Johnson was a 40-year-old patient at Searcy who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. According to the complaint, Johnson's condition was so severe that Johnson was "required to be under constant 2-on-1 supervision by [ADMH] employees at Searcy Hospital." This supervision was supposed to be in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2012, Johnson was severely beaten in his ward at Searcy. He collapsed and he was taken to University of South Alabama Hospital. Medical testing showed that, as a result of the beating, he suffered severe and life-threatening injuries, including internal bleeding, severe bruising to his face and body, a fractured nose, and several broken ribs. Johnson alleged Searcy's mental-health workers failed to keep him under the required constant supervision and failed to immediately report his injuries. After review of his complaint, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The circuit court correctly dismissed Johnson's claims against Reddoch and McLean in their official capacities. The circuit court erred in dismissing Johnson's claims against McLean and the fictitiously named defendants in their individual capacities. The case was remanded for further proceedings, including consideration of Johnson's subpoena for discovery served on ADMH.