Estate of Jaime Ceballos v. Husk, No. 17-1216 (10th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Jaime Ceballos’s wife, Quianna Vigil, called police to report that her husband was in their driveway with a baseball bat “acting crazy,” and that he was drunk and probably on drugs. Vigil wanted police to remove Ceballos so she could return home to put the child to bed. Defendant William Husk and several other Thornton police officers responded. Within a minute of their arrival, Officer Husk shot Ceballos to death in the street in front of his home. Ceballos’s estate and his surviving wife and children sued Officer Husk and the City of Thornton, asserting: (1) a 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim against Officer Husk, alleging he used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment; (2) a section 1983 claim alleging the City failed to train Officer Husk adequately in how to handle situations involving individuals who are emotionally distraught or who have a diminished ability to reason; and (3) a state-law wrongful death tort claim against Husk. In an interlocutory appeal, Defendants challenged the district court’s decision to deny them summary judgment on each of these three claims. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision denying Officer Husk summary judgment on the section 1983 excessive-force claim; the Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction both the City’s appeal of the denial of summary judgment on the failure-to- train claim, and Husk’s appeal involving the state-law wrongful death claim.