Kneipp v. Tedder

95 F.3d 1199 (1996)

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Kneipp v. Tedder

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
95 F.3d 1199 (1996)

  • Written by Whitney Kamerzel , JD

Facts

Samantha and Joseph Kneipp (plaintiffs) were walking home when they were stopped by police officers (defendants), including Officer Wesley Tedder. Samantha was visibly intoxicated; she smelled of urine and needed her husband’s help to walk. An expert witness later estimated that her blood alcohol level was around 0.25 percent, which would have incapacitated Samantha’s muscle coordination and other cognitive functions. Tedder detained Samantha but allowed Joseph to go home to relieve his babysitter. Instead of bringing Samantha to the hospital or the police station, Tedder left Samantha to walk home by herself. Samantha was later found in a cold embankment near her house with permanent brain damage. Tedder later claimed he let Samantha walk home with her husband, but this was refuted by several witnesses. The Kneipps sued the officers and the city of Philadelphia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging the officers were deliberately indifferent to the risk of harm to Samantha and violated her right to substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court granted the officers’ motion for summary judgment, and the Kneipps appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mansmann, J.)

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