United States District Court for the Northern District of California
109 F.R.D. 535 (N.D. Cal. 1985)
On Halloween 1982, Mercedes Banks was arrested in Emeryville, California for public intoxication. She was brought to the Emeryville Police Department where she was placed in a holding cell. Later that night, the police station Banks was being held in caught fire and she burned to death inside. It was eventually determined that the fire originated in her mattress. Banks’ family (plaintiff) brought suit against the City of Emeryville (defendant) and the chief of the Emeryville Police Department (defendant), alleging under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that the jail cell was inadequately furnished with dangerous material. The Banks family further contended that the police department inadequately supervised the jail, which lead to Banks’ death. The city argued that Banks’ death was a suicide. The defendants later filed a third party complaint against various parties who were responsible for manufacturing, distributing, and selling the mattress involved in Banks’ death. The defendants sought indemnification or contribution from these parties based on a theory that the mattress was a defective product. The third party defendant’s filed a motion to dismiss the third party complaint.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 202,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.