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Appellate court upholds man's detainment

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that he could not have been detained in the hospital for mental health reasons before an application for detention was filed, which occurred after facility security guards restrained him.

In Raymond Dale Berryhill v. Parkview Hospital, No. 02A04-1108-SC-400, Raymond Berryhill challenged the ruling in favor of Parkview Hospital granting the facility immunity in Berryhill’s suit for false imprisonment. Berryhill and his wife, Kay, had a fight in which Berryhill became violent. She called 911, but he refused to go to the hospital. Berryhill’s wife wanted him to be examined because his head hurt, and he had history of a stroke and brain surgery.

Eventually Berryhill went to the hospital, and while in the emergency room he became loud and aggressive. Berryhill’s physician ordered he be secured and sedated. Two Parkview security guards tried to calm him down, but Berryhill resisted and asked to go home. The guards escorted him to the secured room and put him in restraints. After this incident, Berryhill’s wife filed an application for him to be detained and examined.

Berryhill sued, arguing that the security guards’ actions constituted false imprisonment. The trial court ruled Parkview was immune from liability based on a statute that covers people who assist in detentions. On appeal, Berryhill claimed that the immunity statute doesn’t apply because he wasn’t detained for purposes of the statute until after his wife filed the application for detention.

“We cannot conclude that the legislature intended to leave healthcare facilities and their employees powerless to detain individuals who are mentally ill and either dangerous or gravely disabled before an application for detention is filed. As such, without deciding precisely when Berryhill was detained for purposes of Indiana Code Section 12-26-5-1, we conclude that the security guards “act[ed] according to” Indiana Code Article 12-26, which governs the voluntary and involuntary treatment of mentally ill individuals …,” wrote Judge Terry Crone.

There is no evidence the guards acted with malice, bad faith or negligence, so Parkview is entitled to immunity on the false imprisonment claim, the COA ruled.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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