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Stockberger v. United States

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit
332 F.3d 479 (2003)


Maurice Stockberger worked at a federal prison in Indiana. His coworkers knew that he was an insulin-dependent diabetic, and that he had episodes when his blood sugar would fall to dangerously low levels, during which he would become hostile and agitated and sometimes deny that he had a medical problem. The prison occasionally provided transportation for sick employees, including Stockberger, but did not have a written policy about transporting sick employees. While at work, Stockberger stated he was having an episode of low blood sugar, and insisted on driving himself home. Stockberger’s coworker did not think he was in any condition to be driving, but did not prevent Stockberger from leaving, offer him a ride, or contact Stockberger’s supervisor or wife. Stockberger left work, driving erratically, and eventually collided with a tree and was killed. Stockberger’s wife Lynne (plaintiff) brought suit against the United States (defendant) under the Federal Tort Claims Act, arguing that the federal prison breached a duty of care by allowing Stockberger to drive in his condition. The lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the United States, and Stockberger’s wife appealed.

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