DISCLAIMER: The following unofficial case summaries are prepared by the clerk's office
as a courtesy to the reader. They are not part of the opinion of the court.
072481P.pdf 10/02/2009 Shawanna Nelson v. Larry Norris U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 07-2481 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Batesville [PUBLISHED] [Murphy, Author, for the Court En Banc]
Prisoner case - Prisoner civil rights. For the vacated panel opinion in the case, see Nelson v. Corr. Med. Servs., 533 F.3d 958 (8th Cir. 2008). From all of the evidence a factfinder could draw the inference that defendant Turensky, the corrections officer who shackled plaintiff to her hospital bed during the delivery of her child, recognized that shackles interfered with plaintiff's medical care, could be an obstacle in the event of a medical emergency, and caused unnecessary suffering at a time when plaintiff would likely have been unable to flee because of the pain and birth process; as a result there was sufficient evidence in the record to permit a reasonable factfinder to determine that Turensky's actions violated the Eighth Amendment; since plaintiff's right to be free of such cruel and unusual punishment was clearly established, the district court did not err in denying Turensky's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity; with respect to plaintiff's claims that defendant Norris, the director of the department of corrections, violated her Eighth Amendment rights by failing to ensure that proper policies and customs were in place with respect to the restraint of female inmates in labor, there was no evidence that Norris personally displayed deliberate indifference to the hazards and pain resulting from shackling a prisoner during the final stages of her labor, and the district court erred in denying his motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. Judge Riley, with whom Chief Judge Loken, and Judges Colloton, Gruender and Shepherd join, concurring in part and dissenting in part. 072481P.pdf 07/18/2008 Shawanna Nelson v. Larry Norris U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 07-2481 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Batesville [PUBLISHED] [Riley, Author, with Gruender and Shepherd, Circuit Judges]
Prisoner case - prisoner civil rights. Defendants were entitled to summary judgment based on qualified immunity on plaintiff's claims that they violated her Eighth Amendment rights when they shackled her during the delivery of her child; this court has held that the shackling of prisoners during medical procedures serves a legitimate penological goal and does not constitute a constitutional violation.