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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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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. 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.

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