Cordell v. McKinney, No. 13-4203 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Cordell was an inmate at the Greene County Jail in Xenia, Ohio until he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. As Deputy McKinney performed his initial rounds on the floor on which Cordell was housed, several inmates, including Cordell, requested haircuts. A verbal conflict ensued. McKinney commanded Cordell to step into the vestibule area to be placed in handcuffs. The conflict continued as McKinney placed Cordell in "escort position” to take him to a third-floor holding cell. Cordell claimed that during this trip McKinney ran him “head first into the wall” with force sufficient to lacerate Cordell’s forehead, cause severe neck and back pain, and leave him “very, very groggy.” The jail’s nurse (Jordan) found “a little cut above his eye,” and bandaged it. Later, at a hospital, Cordell was diagnosed with whiplash. Based on a witness statement, McKinney received a written warning for use of excessive force. The district court rejected Cordell’s suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 on summary judgment. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded. A genuine dispute as to several material facts exists. If Cordell’s version of events is credited, a reasonable jury could conclude that McKinney inflicted serious pain upon Cordell with malicious and sadistic intent. Any reasonable jail official would know that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the conduct that Cordell described.