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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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