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Bailey v. Feltmann

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

December 16, 2014

SHANE BAILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
DON FELTMANN, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CHARLES A. SHAW, District Judge.

This matter under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 is before the Court on defendant Don Feltmann's Motion for Summary Judgment. The motion is fully briefed and ready for decision. For the following reasons, the motion will be granted.

I. Legal Standard

The Eighth Circuit has recently articulated the appropriate standard for consideration of motions for summary judgment, as follows:

Summary judgment is proper if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The movant bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and must identify those portions of the record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. If the movant does so, the nonmovant must respond by submitting evidentiary materials that set out specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. On a motion for summary judgment, facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a genuine dispute as to those facts. Credibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge. The nonmovant must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, and must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.

Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1043 (8th Cir. 2011) (en banc) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). "Although the burden of demonstrating the absence of any genuine issue of material fact rests on the movant, a nonmovant may not rest upon mere denials or allegations, but must instead set forth specific facts sufficient to raise a genuine issue for trial." Wingate v. Gage Cnty. Sch. Dist., No. 34, 528 F.3d 1074, 1078-79 (8th Cir. 2008) (cited case omitted).

II. Facts

On March 13, 2012, plaintiff Shane Bailey, then eighteen years of age, was at a friend's house in Jefferson County, Missouri. Plaintiff and the friend had an argument about a girl and plaintiff became angry. Plaintiff left the house and went out to his truck and hit the driver's side mirror with his right hand, then got in the truck and kicked and punched the windshield with his right foot and right hand, so hard that he broke out the windshield. Plaintiff's right hand and fingers were cut by glass as a result of hitting the windshield. Plaintiff got in the truck, sans windshield, and started driving to meet his cousin at the Big River. While driving on Highway 30, plaintiff ran out of gas and pulled the truck over to the side of the road near Cedar Hill Fire Station No. 2. Plaintiff immediately called 911 and asked for assistance for his cut hand. This occurred at approximately 2:55 p.m.

Two paramedics from the Big River Ambulance District responded to plaintiff's 911 call. Diane Smith, one of the paramedics, testified based on the report she prepared shortly after the incident.[1] Paramedic Smith testified that the report stated plaintiff was agitated at times, but then became cooperative with the paramedics and they treated and dressed plaintiff's hand and wrapped it in bandages, but thereafter plaintiff again became agitated and refused further care. Plaintiff denies that he refused further care and the Court accepts this denial as true for purposes of summary judgment.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department police report of the incident states that defendant Feltmann, a Deputy Sheriff, responded to the scene after being advised by dispatch that paramedics on the scene were requesting an emergency response from law enforcement for an unknown reason. Pl.'s Ex. 2 at 3. Feltmann arrived after plaintiff's hand was already bandaged by the paramedic. Feltmann knew plaintiff's hand was cut or injured, but did not see the cuts because of the bandage. Blood from the cuts on plaintiff's hand was leaking through the gauze bandage and Feltmann saw this. Feltmann did not ask plaintiff or the paramedics what treatment they had given plaintiff before he arrived at the scene, and plaintiff did not receive any further care from the paramedics after Feltmann arrived.

Paramedic Smith's report states in pertinent part, "JCSD [Jefferson County Sheriff's Department] Deputy advised that the pt [patient] required sutures to his hand for the wounds he sustained when he punched out his windshield. JCSD stated that they would transport pt to ER for evaluation and care prior to being processed." Pl.'s Ex. 8 at 1. Paramedic Smith testified that this portion of her report was true and accurate, but it paraphrased rather than quoted the conversation. Smith Dep. at 51:8-12. The paramedic testified, "We advised deputies on the scene that the[] patient required sutures to his hand, and that he needed to be taken to a ER - an ER to be evaluated." Id. at 52:1-4. The paramedic testified she believed plaintiff's hand required further treatment because the report noted swelling and bruising to the right hand and the bleeding was controlled. Id. at 28:22-29:1.

Feltmann administered a field sobriety test to plaintiff and placed him under arrest for careless operation of a vehicle and minor in possession of alcohol. Feltmann threw plaintiff to the ground and said he was going to pepper spray him, then handcuffed plaintiff. Plaintiff does not recall Feltmann saying anything else at the scene. Plaintiff was not pepper sprayed. Feltmann did not ask plaintiff if he thought he needed to go to the ER. Feltmann did not take plaintiff to the ER but instead transported him to the Jefferson County Jail. Plaintiff did not complain to Feltmann about the injury to his hand while at the scene or while being transported to the jail, although his facial expressions indicated he was in pain. Feltmann looked at plaintiff while he was grimacing in pain.

Plaintiff was released from the Jefferson County Jail sometime after midnight but before the sun came up on March 14, 2012, and was picked up by his mother, brother and sister. Pl.'s Dep. at 98:6-23. Plaintiff went to the Emergency Room at SSM St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Missouri at around 9:35 a.m. and was seen by a physician. Medical records show that plaintiff received stitches for a laceration in his head, [2] but his hand lacerations were cleansed and left open because the wounds were "almost 24 hours old." Pl.'s Ex. 9 at 4. Plaintiff avers that he was in severe pain from the time he was taken into custody by Feltmann until the cuts were cleansed and he received pain medication at St. Clare Health Center. The medical records describe plaintiff's pain as "mild, " "aching, " and "constant since onset." Pl.'s Ex. 9 at 2. A small glass fragment was removed from plaintiff's hand and the hand was X-rayed. Plaintiff was sent home with ibuprofen.[3]

Plaintiff has not talked to or seen any doctor, clinician or other health care provider about the condition of his right hand since he was treated at St. Clare Health Center on March 14, 2012. Plaintiff testified that "every now and then" he has pain between his pointer and index fingers. Plaintiff also testified he has approximately nine scars on his right hand and fingers, and had no scars there prior to March 13, 2012. Plaintiff ...


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