Dyer v. City of Mesquite, No. 19-10280 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for panel rehearing and petition for rehearing en banc, withdrew its prior opinion, and substituted the following opinion.
Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal, on qualified immunity grounds, of their deliberate-indifference claims against paramedics and police officers employed by the City of Mesquite. Plaintiffs' claims arose out of the death of their 18 year old son from self-inflicted head trauma while in police custody. He died after violently bashing his head over 40 times against the interior of a patrol car while being transported to jail.
The court held that the complaint failed to allege facts that plausibly show the paramedics' deliberate indifference. In this case, plaintiffs alleged that the paramedics failed to provide additional care. However, the court held that precedent has consistently recognized that deliberate indifference cannot be inferred merely from a negligent or even a grossly negligent response to a substantial risk of serious harm.
The court also held that the district court correctly found a genuine dispute concerning whether Officers Gafford and Heidelburg were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of a detainee in their custody. However, the court held that the district court erroneously granted summary judgment to Officer Scott where there are genuine disputes of material fact as to whether Officer Scott, like Gafford and Heidelburg, acted with deliberate indifference to the son's serious medical needs. Furthermore, the court held that a reasonable jury could find the Officers' conduct contravened clearly established law. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on April 9, 2020.