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Frank v. Cascade Healthcare Community, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 23, 2014

MINNY FRANK, Plaintiff,
v.
CASCADE HEALTHCARE COMMUNITY, INC. dba ST. CHARLES MEDICAL CENTER; EDWARD PALMER, MD; REBECCA TIMMS; SCOTT NAMANNY; THE CITY OF BEND; BEND POLICE DEPARTMENT; and CENTRAL OREGON EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS, LLC; Defendants.

Minny Frank, Bend, Oregon, Pro se plaintiff.

Robert E. Franz, Jr., Law Office of Robert E. Franz, Jr., Springfield, Oregon, Attorney for defendants Scott Namanny and Ian Macdonnell.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANN L. AIKEN, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Minny Frank moves for summary judgment, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. R. 56 (a), on her claims against defendants Scott Namanny and Ian Macdonnell. Namanny and Macdonnell filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motion is denied and defendants' motion is granted. This case is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

The history of this matter is well known to all parties. It will therefore only be repeated to the extent necessary to provide context for the present motions.

On January 13, 2010, after mixing alcohol and prescription medications, plaintiff became extremely intoxicated and repeatedly threatened her life in the presence of her husband. Plaintiff's husband called 911; Namanny and Macdonnell, Bend police officers, were dispatched to plaintiff's residence. When they arrived, plaintiff was restrained by her husband in a room with two guns, one of which was loaded. Plaintiff was uncooperative with the police and, as a result, they hand-cuffed and Mirandized her.

Thereafter, the police interviewed plaintiff, where she admitted that she held a gun to her stomach intending to harm herself. Namanny explained to plaintiff that it would be in her best interest to speak with a mental health specialist. Plaintiff agreed to go to the hospital so Namanny and Macdonnell transported her to the emergency department ("ED") of St. Charles Medical Center ("SCMC"), a private, non-profit hospital, pursuant to Or. Rev. Stat. § 426.228.

Upon admittance to the ED, plaintiff was contacted by Rebecca Timms, a licensed clinical social worker. Plaintiff became combative, yelling and using profanity, because her handcuffs had not yet been removed. Plaintiff's uncooperative and aggressive behavior continued despite SCMC employees' calming efforts. Eventually, she was subdued by Charge Nurse Nichole Ryan, after which plaintiff's handcuffs were removed. She was examined by Edward Palmer, M.D., an ED physician, and interviewed by Timms.

During her interview, plaintiff reported that she held a loaded gun to her head earlier that evening and wanted to kill herself. Plaintiff also reported that she drank four glasses of vodka and often harms herself via an overdose of prescription medication. In conferral with Timms and Magnus Lakovics, M.D., the admitting physician, Palmer determined that plaintiff was a potential harm to herself and/or others and initiated an emergency psychiatric hold in SCMC's psychiatric emergency services ("PES") unit. Plaintiff was informed that she was going to be held overnight in the PES unit and needed to submit to a skin-check and change into scrubs pursuant to hospital policy.[1]

Upon receiving this information, plaintiff again began yelling and became combative; she demanded to speak with the on-call ED doctor who evaluated her and refused to change into scrubs or voluntarily admit herself to the PES unit. Palmer returned and informed plaintiff that it was his and his staffs' opinion that she needed further treatment. Plaintiff then erupted at Palmer and began personally threatening him, at which point Palmer ordered the administration of medication to plaintiff in order to effectuate her transition into the PES unit.

Plaintiff continued to refuse to change into hospital scrubs, even after being informed of SCMC's policy. Plaintiff was warned that she would be forcibly held down and changed into scrubs if she failed to comply; plaintiff still refused cooperate and screamed to see a patient advocate and a written copy of the hospital's policies. Plaintiff was then physically restrained by Namanny, Macdonnell, and SCMC staff while Penny Lancaster, a female nursing assistant, performed a skin-check and replaced plaintiff's existing clothes with hospital scrubs. Throughout this process, plaintiff continued to yell, kick, and threaten those around her.

After plaintiff was changed into scrubs, she was transported to the PES unit and administered anti-anxiety and sedative medications. Plaintiff remained in the PES unit until the following morning, January 14, 2010, when she was discharged into her husband's care after a psychiatric evaluation revealed that she was no longer a threat to herself or others.

On December 9, 2011, plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. On April 16, 2012, plaintiff moved to file an amended complaint; on May 16, 2012, plaintiff moved to file a second amended complaint. On June 26, 2012, this Court granted plaintiff's motions. On July 12, 2012, plaintiff filed a second amended complaint. On September 21, 2012, plaintiff was granted leave to file her third amended complaint ("TAC"), alleging: (1) several negligence and negligent, reckless, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims ("NIED, " "RIED, " and "IIED, " respectively) under Oregon law; and (2) deprivations of her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

On March 6, 2013, this Court granted summary judgment in favor of Palmer, Timms, Ryan, Lancaster, Central Oregon Emergency Physicians, LLC, the City of Bend, SCMC, Patricia Violet, Christine Huffman, Randal Mcbride, Jonathan Beutler, and Justin Nelson. These parties were dismissed as defendants from this action and the only remaining claims were those asserted against Namanny and Macdonnell for negligence, NIED, RIED, NIED, and violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court then denied several motions for reconsideration filed by plaintiff. On December 3, 2013, plaintiff moved for summary judgment against Namanny and Macdonnell. On December 27, 2013, defendants filed a cross-motion for summary judgment.

STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate if the pleadings, depositions, affidavits, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, if any, show "that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Substantive law on an issue determines the materiality of a fact. T.W. Elec. Servs., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n , 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987). Whether the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party determines the authenticity of a dispute. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

The moving party has the burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the moving party shows the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party must go beyond the ...


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