McCullum v. Tepe, No. 11-3424 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Hughes died after hanging himself from his bed in the Butler County Prison, where he was incarcerated on charges of robbery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and abuse of the drugs cocaine and Concerta. Hughes showed no outward signs that he was suicidal, but he did have a history of depression and asked to see Tepe, the prison psychiatrist, about anti-depression medication. Hughes and Dr. Tepe never met. Hughes had told an intake worker that he had attempted suicide and had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation. There was a suicide alert in the computer system and Hughes told a paramedic that he had not been taking his prescribed medication. Hughes’s mother filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging deliberate indifference to her son’s serious medical need. Tepe sought summary judgment, arguing that he was The district court held that Tepe could not assert a qualified-immunity defense. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Precedent and public policy do not support immunity for a privately paid physician working for the public.