On August 6, 2010, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri issued a decision in favor of Wright County, Missouri. BSE represented Wright County through its association with the Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund (MOPERM).
The plaintiff in the suit asserted a substantive due process claim under 42 USC §1983 and a negligence claim against Wright County and its former sheriff. The claims arose from an incident that occurred in 2004 at the Miller County Jail in Tuscumbia, Missouri. While working as a jailer, the plaintiff was taken hostage by two inmates and suffered injuries. One of the inmates involved was a Wright County prisoner who had been transferred from the Wright County Jail to the Miller County Jail.
Summary judgment was entered in favor of the Wright County defendants, with the Court finding that the “state-created danger exception” was not applicable. The Court also found that Wright County was entitled to the protections afforded by sovereign immunity and that the sheriff was entitled to the protections afforded by the doctrine of official immunity. The Court also concluded that the county’s purchase of liability insurance from MOPERM did not constitute a waiver of its sovereign immunity.
Wright County and its sheriff were represented by BSE shareholder Diana Carter and associate John Borgmeyer. Ms. Carter has a general civil and administrative law practice, as well as an appellate practice. She represents individuals, businesses, and municipalities throughout the state of Missouri.
The decision of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri is published at 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79628 (Case No. 07-4136-CV-C-MJW).