United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JACOB ANDREWS, Personal Representative of the Estate of Angela White, Deceased, Plaintiff,
WAYNE COUNTY, a Political Subdivision of the State of Michigan, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT WAYNE
COUNTY'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #37)
D. Borman United States District Judge
year-old Angela White was a pre-trial detainee in the Wayne
County Jail (“Jail”) who died on June 8, 2014
after purposely ingesting over 40 pills of a blood pressure
medication, Verapamil. White, who was allowed to keep the
Verapamil in her cell according to the Jail's “Keep
on Person” (“KOP”) self-administered
medication policy, had been in the Jail's custody for
less than 24 hours before she fatally overdosed. On May 26,
2017, Plaintiff Jacob Andrews, the personal representative
for White's estate and White's long-time
fiancé and the father of their then-three year-old
child, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that Defendant Wayne County policy established
deliberate indifference to White's medical
needs. Before the Court is Defendant Wayne
County's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF #37.) On May
10, 2019, Defendant filed the instant Motion. On June 13,
2019, Plaintiff filed his Response. (ECF #44.) On June 27,
2019, Defendant filed its Reply. (ECF #45.) The Court held a
hearing on July 18, 2019.
White's Arrest and Detainment
Parties agree that the essential facts of this case are not
in dispute. (Def.'s Mot., ECF #37, PgID 504; Pl.'s
Resp., ECF #44, PgID 1118.) In the early morning hours of
June 5, 2014, Plaintiff Jacob Andrews called 911 after White
threatened to stab him with a knife when he returned home in
Canton, Michigan. (Dep. of Jacob Andrews, June 28, 2018, ECF
#37-4, PgID 566, 43:20-44:22.) Andrews and White had been
dating for four years, were engaged to be married, and had a
three-year old daughter together. (Id. at PgID
Police responded to Andrew's call, arrested White, and
took her to the Canton Police Department Jail. (Id.
at PgID 567, 47:18-25.) That same day, Plaintiff Andrews came
to the Canton Police Department Jail twice to drop off
White's six medications. (Andrews Dep., ECF #37-4,
Def.'s Mot. Ex. C, PgID 567, 47:18-25.) He did not speak
with White. (Id.) Andrews did not mention any
concerns about White's mental health status to anyone at
the Canton Police Department. (Id. at PgID 569,
56:10-12.) When White was first taken into custody, Andrews
indicated that he wanted to press charges. (Id. at
PgID 569, 54:2-6.) However, Andrews testified that he had
changed his mind by the time he came to the Canton Police
Department Jail to drop off White's medications, and no
longer wanted to press charges against her, but he
did not inform the police of his change of heart.
(Id. at PgID 569, 55:11-20.) Around 8:00 p.m. that
evening, White was taken from the Canton Jail to Oakwood
Hospital after complaining of chest and back pain. (ECF
#44-6, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 5, EMS Transport Record, PgID
1180.) She was released from Oakwood Hospital at 2:15 a.m. on
June 6, 2014, and was transported back to the Canton Jail.
(ECF #44-5, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 4, Canton Police Records,
on June 6, 2014, White was arraigned in the 35th District
Court. (ECF #37-5, Def.'s Mot. Ex. D, 35th Dist. Court
Records, PgID 589.) Bail was set at $3, 000, with allowance
for posting a 10 percent cash/surety bond ($300).
(Id.) A preliminary examination was scheduled for
June 20, 2014. Plaintiff Andrews did not post White's
bond. (Id.) That evening, around 7:00 p.m., White
was transferred to the Wayne County Jail. (ECF #37-6,
Def.'s Mot. Ex. E, History of Inmate Report, PgID 594.)
six medications were sent with her from Canton to the Wayne
County Jail. These medications and the prescribed dosages
included: (1) Klonopin (0.5 mg tablet, twice daily; 1 mg
tablet, “until gone;” 0.5 mg tablet, “until
gone”); (2) oxygen (“2 liters via nasal cannula
as needed for cluster headaches”); (3) Sumatriptan (0.5
ml subcutaneous injection, every 12 hours as needed “in
clinic”); (4) Lexapro (20 mg tablet, once daily for 45
days; (5) Toradol (30 mg intramuscular injection, as needed);
and (6) Verapamil (80 mg, 1 tablet, 4 times daily). (ECF
#37-8, Def.'s Mot. Ex. G, Jail Medical Records, PgID
incoming Wayne County Jail inmates receive a medical and
mental health care screening within four hours of arrival
booking, according to the Jail's “Receiving
Screening - Intake” policy. (ECF #47, Def.'s Mot.
Ex. F, Receiving Screening Policy, PgID 1439.) White's
intake and health screenings complied with this policy.
Around 8:39 p.m. on June 6, 2014, approximately one and
one-half hours after White was booked into the Jail, Medical
Assistant Dawn Benette met with White and conducted the
initial intake screening questionnaire, which covered
physical and mental health. (ECF #37-8, Def.'s Mot. Ex.
G, Jail Medical Records, PgID 619-21.) The questionnaire
included issues such as present mental status, prior suicide
and/or self-harm attempts, suicidal ideation, and mental
illness treatment. (Id.) The questionnaire covered
both the intake screener's observations of the inmate as
well as the inmate's answers to particular questions.
White had responded “yes” to the question of
whether she had previously attempted to harm herself or
commit suicide, Benette recorded that White stated that the
attempt had occurred “in the past, ” and further,
that White was not thinking of harming herself now and that
suicidal thoughts were now not a problem. (Id.) The
time “in the past” was not specified. White
generally responded “no” to the other mental
health/status questions. Benette noted that White did not
appear depressed and was in a stable mental condition.
(Id.) Specific Questions and Responses were:
Was the inmate taken to the hospital prior to arrival at
Explain: [Blank] …
Is the Inmate taking medications?
Is the Inmate carrying any medications?
Explain: [Blank] …
How would you describe your present state of health?
Explain: [Blank] …
Do you have or have you ever had seizures?
Explain: [Blank] …
Have you ever attempted to harm yourself or commit suicide?
Explain: In the past Are you thinking of harming yourself or
are suicide thoughts a problem now?
Do you have a history of psychiatric illness or treatment?
Is the inmate acting and/or talking in a strange or unusual
Does the inmate show signs of depression (crying, emotional
flatness, apathy, lethargy)?
Does the inmate appear overly anxious, afraid, ...