Springfield Police Sergeant Wins Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Alleging That He Was Deliberately Indifferent to Detainee’s Serious Medical Needs During Booking
Springfield police officers arrested three men in November 2008 outside one of the downtown Springfield nightclubs following a disturbance that occurred after the clubs had closed for the night. One of the individuals sustained an injury to his ankle during the arrest. Other officers transported him to the Springfield police station for booking. During his booking he claimed that he should not have been arrested, that his handcuffs were too tight and that his ankle was injured. The sergeant who was doing the booking assured the individual on several occasions that his complaints would be addressed at the appropriate time during the booking process and tried to get the individual to comply with the procedures. Eventually, the sergeant completed the booking and notified the shift commander of the injury claim. The commander arranged transport to a local hospital where the individual received treatment for a fractured ankle. The individual later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to recover for his injuries, claiming that the arresting officers used excessive force and that they, along with the booking sergeant, were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs because they did not immediately take him to the hospital when he complained of pain. Attorney Austin Joyce of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. represented the booking sergeant during the weeklong trial in April of 2013. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s evidence, the judge entered judgment for the booking sergeant as a matter of law, as well as all but one of the other officers, meaning that the plaintiff failed to prove his case against them enough to get to the jury. The jury returned a verdict for the lone remaining Springfield officer.