City of Atlanta v. MitchamAnnotate this Case
Appellee Barto Mitcham filed a negligence action against appellants, the City of Atlanta (the “City”) and George Turner, in his official capacity as the Chief of Police for the City of Atlanta Police Department, alleging that Mitcham was seriously injured as a result of appellants’ failure to provide him necessary medical treatment while in their custody. Mitcham specifically alleged that after he was arrested by the City of Atlanta Police Department, he became ill because of low blood sugar associated with diabetes. He was taken to the hospital, and upon his discharge and release back into the custody of the City, Atlanta Police Department officers were informed of his diabetic condition and the need to monitor and regulate his insulin levels. He alleged they failed to do so, causing him further illness and serious and permanent injuries. The Supreme Court granted a petition for writ or certiorari in this case to determine whether the Court of Appeals used the proper analysis when it determined that the provision of medical care by the City of Atlanta to inmates in its custody was a ministerial function for which the City of Atlanta’s sovereign immunity had been waived. Because the Court found that the care of inmates in the custody of a municipal corporation is a governmental function for which sovereign immunity has not been waived, it reversed and remanded for further proceedings.