United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
ESTATE OF WILLIAM HAN MANSTROM-GREENING, by and through Carol J. Manstrom, Personal Representative, Plaintiff,
LANE COUNTY; LANE COUNTY PAROLE AND PROBATION; DONOVAN DUMIRE; and GLENN GREENING, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. McShane United States District Judge
Carol Manstrom is the mother of William Manstrom-Greening and
the personal representative of his estate. William took his
own life at the age of 18 on February 14, 2017, using a
handgun owned by his father, Glenn Greening. Mr. Greening was
a probation officer employed by Defendant Lane County and, at
the time of his son's death, was required by his employer
to maintain a service weapon. As was his custom, Mr. Greening
left his handgun loaded on a desk when he went to bed on the
night of William's death.
Ms. Manstrom and Mr. Greening were surprised and shocked by
William's death. Neither believed William to be suicidal.
Despite this fact, Ms. Manstrom brings suit against Mr.
Greening and his employer, alleging that they engaged in
affirmative conduct that exposed William to a danger that he
would not otherwise have faced, and that it is foreseeable
that the presence of a loaded firearm in a home would lead to
the type of harm that occurred to her son.
aside the recriminations of hindsight, there are no facts in
the record to indicate that Mr. Greening or the County were
aware, or should have been aware, that William was suicidal
in the time leading to his death. Because William's death
was not foreseeable, and because Mr. Greening and the County
did nothing to encourage or cause the harm, Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
was 11 months old when Glenn Greening and Carol Manstrom
adopted him. Soon after the adoption, Mr. Greening and Ms.
Manstrom separated. Manstrom Decl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 83. Ms.
Manstrom was granted full custody of William, while Mr.
Greening maintained visitation rights. Mitchell Decl. Ex. 37,
at 1, 5, ECF No. 81. Two years prior to his death, William
moved in with his father without any modification to the
custodial agreement established at the time of his
parent's divorce. Greening Decl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 65.
morning of February 14, 2017, William used his father's
duty weapon to take his own life. William was 18 years old.
His father was a probation officer employed by Lane County
Parole and Probation (“Lane County”). Greening
Decl. ¶ 3. Lane County required all probation officers
to carry a firearm while on-duty, but the firearm could
either be owned by the county or personally owned by the
probation officer. Dumire dep. 102:5-15. Mr. Greening's
firearm was a handgun that he personally owned and, in
addition to possessing it at work, he concurrently used it at
home for his personal security.
Mr. Greening initially came home from work on February 13,
2017, he placed the handgun in a locked safe. Greening dep.
41:16-25. Later that evening, Mr. Greening removed
the firearm from the safe and placed it on a desk in the
living room of his home. Id. at 42:24- 43:5;
45:18-23. According to his own testimony, Mr. Greening
regularly left the handgun on the desk in the living room for
two reasons: (1) to provide home security; and (2) to allow
him to more easily prepare for work. Id. at 43:3-5;
44:1-6. Mr. Greening did not sleep in the same room as where
he stored his handgun and did not wake up when William
committed suicide. Mitchell Decl., Ex. 36 at 1, 3-4. Mr.
Greening only discovered that the firearm was missing as he
was getting ready for work. Id. Mr. Greening told
arriving officers that he would “never forgive himself
for leaving that gun out.” Bremer dep. 30:13-21.
time of William's death, Lane County lacked any policy
regarding the storage of duty weapons outside of the
workplace. Dumire dep. 114:25-115:4, 115:16-19; Greening dep.
18:19-23. After the filing of the present lawsuit, Lane
County enacted a new safe storage policy requiring that
firearms be secured from unauthorized individuals -
i.e., in a locked safe, secured with a trigger lock,
or disassembled - when the officer is off-duty. Dumire dep.
52:14-25; Mitchell Decl., Ex. 21 at 9.
Plaintiff makes note of the fact that Mr. Greening had
relinquished his right to carry a firearm in 2004 after
failing a psychological evaluation in connection with
concerns raised by Ms. Manstrom. Eaton dep. 39:3-12. It was
not until 2012 that Lane County rearmed Mr. Greening.
Greening dep. 86:4-7; 87:1-4. Lane County never administered
a subsequent psychological evaluation to Mr. Greening prior
to rearming him. Id. Mr. Greening testified that he
informed his superiors why he was disarmed in 2004, yet
multiple individuals in charge of rearming Mr. Greening could
not recall if they were aware that Mr. Greening had failed a
psychological exam. Compare Greening dep. 86:4-88:19
with Brown dep. 26:20-27:8, 29:19-30:18 and
Fox dep. 13:16-19, 14:1-3. There is nothing in the record to
suggest that Mr. Greening suffered from mental instability at
the time of William's death.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. An issue is “genuine” if a
reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor of the
non-moving party. Rivera v. Phillip Morris, Inc.,
395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A fact
is “material” if it could affect the outcome of
the case. Id. The Court reviews evidence and draws
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc., 454 F.3d
975, 988 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Hunt v. Cromartie,
526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)). When the moving party has met its
burden, the non-moving party must present “specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).
Defendants move for summary judgment on Plaintiff's due
process claims and Mr. Greening moves for summary judgment on
Plaintiff's wrongful death/ negligence claim.
Due Process: State-Created Danger
argues that Lane County, Donovan Dumire,  and Mr. Greening
undertook affirmative conduct that exposed Mr.
Manstrom-Greening to a danger he would not otherwise have
faced. Defendants counter that ...