Mosher v. Nelson, No. 09-1636 - U.S. First Circuit
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Mosher v. Nelson, No. 09-1636

In plaintiffs' civil rights action brought following the death of their son against a facility operated by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections that serves as both a prison and a mental hospital, its superintendent, and others, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) defendant-superintendent is entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in defendant's place, given the circumstances and the legal standard, could have believed that allowing a certain practice to continue would not lead to events that would violate a patient's rights; 2) commissioner is also entitled to qualified immunity as a reasonable official in his position could have reasonably believed that staffing that met the hospital's recommendations was sufficient to avoid constitutional violations; and 3) the district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs' state law claims as barred by the Eleventh Amendment.  

Read Mosher v. Nelson, No. 09-1636

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Decided December 18, 2009

Judges

Before:  Lynch, Chief Judge, Stahl, Circuit Judge, and DiClerico, District Judge

Opinion by DiClerico, District Judge

Counsel

For Appellant:      Jerrold N. Arnowitz, Arnowitz, Goldberg, and Mann, LLC

For Appellee:     Daniel G. Cromack, Assistant Attorney General, Martha Coakley, Attorney General, and Ronald F. Kehoe, Assistant Attorney General