Not Guilty in Medical Battery and 1983 Claim

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Counsel: Steve Steinback and Chris Reeder
Demand: $500,000
Asked: No figure presented
Outcome: Not Guilty

Plaintiff, age 28, presented to the hospital in a manic phase after not taking medication for bi-polar disease. Plaintiff spent the night in the emergency room awaiting placement. Plaintiff woke the following morning and became verbally abusive to the staff. Plaintiff then barricaded himself in the room and threatened to throw an oxygen tank through a window. The hospital staff called the police department. Two officers responded and went into Plaintiff’s room with the emergency room physician. The emergency room physician provided Plaintiff with the option of calming down or receiving medication. Plaintiff’s agitation increased, and Plaintiff invited a fight. In response, the police officers Tasered Plaintiff and placed Plaintiff in handcuffs. Thereafter, a nurse administration medication pursuant to the emergency room physician’s order. Plaintiff alleged that the hospital staff committed medical battery and violated his civil rights by administering medication against his will. Plaintiff brought a §1983 claim against the police officers alleging excessive force. The defense maintained that Plaintiff needed treatment for his condition, and that use of a Taser was reasonable under the circumstances. The jury returned a verdict in favor of all defendants.