United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
ELIZABETH ERNY FOOTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case arises out of allegedly excessive force deployed when
officers of the Bossier City Police Department arrested
Plaintiff Lloyd Perry (“Perry”). Before the Court
is Defendants' motion for partial summary judgment on the
issue of medical causation. [Record Document 46]. The motion
is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART. Because Perry has raised a genuine issue of
material fact as to the cause of his lacerated liver and his
anemia, summary judgment is DENIED as to
those injuries. However, because the record provides only
highly speculative support for his claim that the force
employed by Officers Brandon Kowalzek
(“Kowalzek”) and Lamond Wheatly
(“Wheatly”) (collectively, “Defendant
Officers”) caused his renal pseudoaneurysm, summary
judgment is GRANTED on that issue.
facts leading up to Defendant Officers' use of force have
been thoroughly described in this Court's previous
summary judgment ruling. [Record Document 37]. In brief,
Perry called the police to report a hit-and-run on his car.
[Id. at 2]. Kowalzek arrived to investigate but
before he completed the accident report, Perry drove away.
[Id.]. Kowalzek pulled Perry over and, after some
heated discussion, attempted to place Perry in handcuffs.
[Id. at 3]. Wheatly then arrived and punched Perry,
allowing Defendant Officers to take Perry down to the ground.
[Id. at 3-4]. Kowalzek then completed the
handcuffing and transported Perry to the Bossier Parish Jail
for booking. [Id.].
sued Defendant Officers, the City of Bossier City, and Shane
McWilliams, the chief of the Bossier City Police Department,
(collectively, “Defendants”) for false arrest and
excessive force under federal and state law. [Record Document
1]. This Court granted Defendants' motion for summary
judgment on all of Perry's claims except: (1) the 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and Louisiana constitutional claims
against Defendant Officers for the force used when taking
Perry to the ground; (2) the state-law tort claims for false
arrest and false imprisonment; and (3) the state-law tort
claims for battery, assault, and excessive force related to
all of the force used on Perry by Defendant Officers
throughout the encounter. [Record Document 37].
being booked at the Bossier City Jail, Perry collapsed onto
the floor. [Record Document 48-3 at 19:11:25-:32 and 48-4 at
3]. The Bossier City Fire Department responded and
transported him to the emergency room at University
Health-Shreveport (“UH-S”) where he refused
treatment and demanded to be returned to jail. [Record
Documents 48-2 at 2, 48-4 at 3, and 48-5 at 1]. After
returning from UH-S, Perry was held at the Bossier Maximum
Security Facility (“Bossier Max”) and remained
lethargic, repeatedly refusing meals and recreation time and
spending much of the following days lying in bed. [Record
Documents 48-8, 48-9, 48-10, 48-11, and 48-12]. Ten days
after he was arrested, jail officials took him back to UH-S,
where he was diagnosed with a Grade 4 liver laceration, renal
dysfunction, central hypertension, anemia of acute blood
loss, a left renal artery pseudoaneurysm,  a left mandible
fracture, and a left subconjunctival hemorrhage. [Record
Document 48-5 at 4].
filed this motion for partial summary judgment on the issue
of medical causation for three of the injuries that Perry
asserts were caused by Defendant Officers' use of force:
the anemia, the liver laceration, and the pseudoaneurysm.
[Record Document 46].Specifically, Defendants argue that
causation for these injuries must be proven via expert
medical testimony and that Perry has produced none. [Record
Document 46-1 at 4-8]. While Dr. Navdeep Samra (“Dr.
Samra”), a trauma surgeon who treated Perry at UH-S,
did sit for a deposition, [Record Document 46-6], Defendants
contend that Dr. Samra's cautious statements fail to
carry Perry's summary judgment burden, [Record Document
46-1 at 4-8]. Conversely, Perry argues that the
circumstantial evidence of his condition in the days
following the accident (fainting, remaining mostly in bed,
refusing many meals, refusing out-of-cell recreation time),
combined with the medical records and Dr. Samra's
admissions of possible causation, create a genuine factual
issue for trial. [Record Document 48 at 5-7]. Defendants
reply brief mainly points out that Perry has not provided any
medical testimony regarding causation other than that of Dr.
Samra. [Record Document 49 at 1-2].
Summary Judgment Standard
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) directs a court to “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.” Summary judgment is
appropriate when the pleadings, answers to interrogatories,
admissions, depositions, and affidavits on file indicate that
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
When the burden at trial will rest on the non-moving party,
the moving party need not produce evidence to negate the
elements of the non-moving party's case; rather, it need
only point out the absence of supporting evidence. See
Id. at 322-23.
movant satisfies its initial burden of showing that there is
no genuine dispute of material fact, the nonmovant must
demonstrate that there is, in fact, a genuine issue for trial
by going “beyond the pleadings” and
“designat[ing] specific facts” for support.
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325).
“This burden is not satisfied with some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts, ” by conclusory or
unsubstantiated allegations, or by a mere “scintilla of
evidence.” Id. (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). However, “[t]he evidence of the
non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences
are to be drawn in his favor.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1985) (citing
Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144,
158-59 (1970)). While not weighing the evidence or evaluating
the credibility of witnesses, courts should grant summary
judgment where the critical evidence in support of the
nonmovant is so “weak or tenuous” that it could
not support a judgment in the nonmovant's favor.
Armstrong v. City of Dall., 997 F.2d 62, 67 (5th
Local Rule 56.1 requires the movant to file a statement of
material facts as to which it “contends there is no
genuine issue to be tried.” The opposing party must
then set forth a “short and concise statement of the
material facts as to which there exists a genuine issue to be
tried.” W.D. La. R. 56.2. All material facts set forth
in the movant's statement “will be deemed admitted,
for purposes of the motion, unless controverted as required
by this rule.” Id.
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