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Case: Estes v. Hughes County

3:20-cv-03013 | U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota

Filed Date: July 17, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This lawsuit was filed in 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota by the estate of a diabetic Native American man who died as a pretrial detainee in the custody of the Hughes County Jail. The estate, represented by private counsel, brought claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, failure to provide adequate medical care, race discrimination, and violations of state law. The lawsuit -- brought against Hughes County and various individual employees…

This lawsuit was filed in 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota by the estate of a diabetic Native American man who died as a pretrial detainee in the custody of the Hughes County Jail. The estate, represented by private counsel, brought claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, failure to provide adequate medical care, race discrimination, and violations of state law.

The lawsuit -- brought against Hughes County and various individual employees of Hughes County Jail -- alleged that when the decedent was booked into the Jail, on Thursday, July 13, 2018, his blood sugar was checked and was outside the normal range. Jail staff attempted to contact the jail's nurse, whose approval was required before they could administer the decedent's diabetes medication. The nurse said that she would evaluate his condition upon her return from vacation the following Monday. She maintained this position and did not approve administration of medication or other intervention despite repeated calls from staff over the next two days as the decedent's condition worsened. On Sunday, July 16, 2018, tests showed that his blood sugar levels had increased and his blood pressure had decreased, and he was suffering from physical symptoms including sweating, vomiting, and nausea. Responding to another call from staff, the nurse stated that the decedent would be fine until the next day, when she would be able to evaluate him. The decedent was not given medication for his diabetes or otherwise referred for evaluation or care. On Monday July 17, 2018, he was discovered unresponsive in his cell and was transferred to the local hospital, where he died the next day. Based on these allegations, his estate brought claims for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments, race discrimination in violation of the 14th Amendment, and state law claims including breach of contract, negligence, and negligent nursing care and treatment. The estate sought declaratory relief, damages, and attorneys' fees and costs. U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier was assigned.

Defendants moved to dismiss the race discrimination and state law claims and, on May 21, 2021, the Court granted the motion. It found the allegations in the complaint insufficient to support the race discrimination claim. It further held that neither the decedent nor his estate were intended beneficiaries of the contract at issue and thus could not sue for its breach, and that the negligence claims failed for improper notice and because the action was filed outside of the state's medical malpractice statute of repose. 2021 WL 2043070.

The parties have reportedly reached a settlement agreement that is pending approval from the Tribal Court. The settlement includes damages as well as an agreement from the County to revise its inmate medical care policies and procedures. As of September 29, 2021, the case is ongoing and the docket does not yet reflect the reported settlement agreement.

Summary Authors

Tessa Bialek (9/29/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17363790/parties/estes-v-hughes-county-south-dakota/


Judge(s)

Schreier, Karen E (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carpenter, Frances Crockett (New Mexico)

Pochop, Stephanie (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abraham, Douglas A (South Dakota)

Anderson, Robert B. (South Dakota)

Duffy, Daniel P. (Illinois)

Hieb, Jack H. (South Dakota)

Murphy, Matthew D (South Dakota)

Judge(s)

Schreier, Karen E (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carpenter, Frances Crockett (New Mexico)

Pochop, Stephanie (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abraham, Douglas A (South Dakota)

Anderson, Robert B. (South Dakota)

Duffy, Daniel P. (Illinois)

Hieb, Jack H. (South Dakota)

Murphy, Matthew D (South Dakota)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:20-cv-03013

Docket [PACER]

Estes v. Hughes County, South Dakota

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Docket
1

3:20-cv-03013

Complaint With Request for Trial by Jury

July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

Complaint
5

3:20-cv-03013

Amended Complaint with Request for Trial by Jury

Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020

Complaint
33

3:20-cv-03013

Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Counts 3-6

May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021

Order/Opinion
36

3:20-cv-03013

Second Amended Complaint & Request for Trial by Jury

Gienapp v. Hughes County

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17363790/estes-v-hughes-county-south-dakota/

Last updated Nov. 29, 2022, 3:21 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT with Jury Demand, ($400 fee paid, receipt# 0869-3351810) filed by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani, Valerie Estes. (CLR) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

RECAP
2

Summons Issued as to Julie Cox, Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt, Jaclyn Lowitz. 5 Summons(es), a Rule 73 Memo, and AO 85s for each party delivered to plaintiff's counsel via electronic delivery. (Attachments: # 1 Summonses Issued, # 2 AO 85)(CLR) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER
3

ORDER OF RECUSAL. Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange recused. Signed by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange on 07/22/2020. (LH) (Entered: 07/22/2020)

July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

PACER
4

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned to U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier for all further proceedings. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 7/30/20. (SLW) (Entered: 07/30/2020)

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

PACER
5

AMENDED COMPLAINT, with Jury Demand filed by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 08/25/2020)

Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020

RECAP
6

REQUEST for Issuance of Amended Summons by Plaintiff Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 08/25/2020)

Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020

PACER
7

MOTION for Attorney Frances Crockett Carpenter to be Admitted Pro Hac Vice (paid $100 PHV fee; receipt number 0869-3379518) by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 08/25/2020)

Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020

PACER
8

AMENDED Summons Issued as to All Defendants. 1 Summons delivered to plaintiff's counsel via electronic delivery. (SAC) (Entered: 08/26/2020)

Aug. 26, 2020

Aug. 26, 2020

PACER
9

ORDER granting 7 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Attorney Frances Crockett Carpenter for Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani,Frances Crockett Carpenter for Valerie Estes. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 08/26/2020. (MSB) (Entered: 08/26/2020)

Aug. 26, 2020

Aug. 26, 2020

PACER
10

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed HUGHES COUNTY Acknowledgement filed by Valerie Estes. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/08/2020)

Sept. 8, 2020

Sept. 8, 2020

PACER
11

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed JULIE COX Acknowledgement filed by Valerie Estes. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/08/2020)

Sept. 8, 2020

Sept. 8, 2020

PACER
12

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed BILL DODGE Acknowledgement filed by Valerie Estes. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/08/2020)

Sept. 8, 2020

Sept. 8, 2020

PACER
13

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed MIKE LEIDHOLT Acknowledgement filed by Valerie Estes. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/08/2020)

Sept. 8, 2020

Sept. 8, 2020

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Douglas A. Abraham on behalf of Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Abraham, Douglas) (Entered: 09/11/2020)

Sept. 11, 2020

Sept. 11, 2020

PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by Robert B. Anderson on behalf of Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Anderson, Robert) (Entered: 09/14/2020)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

PACER
16

NOTICE of Appearance by Jack H. Hieb on behalf of Jaclyn Lowitz. (Hieb, Jack) (Entered: 09/17/2020)

Sept. 17, 2020

Sept. 17, 2020

PACER
17

MOTION to DISMISS for Failure to State a Claim by Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Abraham, Douglas) (Entered: 09/18/2020)

Sept. 18, 2020

Sept. 18, 2020

PACER
18

MEMORANDUM in Support re 17 MOTION to DISMISS for Failure to State a Claim filed by Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Abraham, Douglas) (Entered: 09/18/2020)

Sept. 18, 2020

Sept. 18, 2020

PACER
19

AFFIDAVIT in Support re 17 MOTION to DISMISS for Failure to State a Claim filed by Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Personnel Services Agreement) (Abraham, Douglas) (Entered: 09/18/2020)

Sept. 18, 2020

Sept. 18, 2020

PACER
20

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE Executed as to 5 Amended Complaint Acknowledgement filed by Jaclyn Lowitz. (Hieb, Jack) (Entered: 09/21/2020)

Sept. 21, 2020

Sept. 21, 2020

PACER
21

NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew D. Murphy on behalf of Julie Cox. (Murphy, Matthew) (Entered: 09/22/2020)

Sept. 22, 2020

Sept. 22, 2020

PACER
22

MOTION to DISMISS by Julie Cox. (Murphy, Matthew) (Entered: 09/25/2020)

Sept. 25, 2020

Sept. 25, 2020

PACER
23

MEMORANDUM in Support re 22 MOTION to DISMISS filed by Julie Cox. (Murphy, Matthew) (Entered: 09/25/2020)

Sept. 25, 2020

Sept. 25, 2020

PACER
24

MOTION to DISMISS CLAIMS MADE AGAINST HER IN COUNTS III, IV, V, AND VI OF AMENDED COMPLAINT by Jaclyn Lowitz. (Hieb, Jack) (Entered: 09/28/2020)

Sept. 28, 2020

Sept. 28, 2020

PACER
25

BRIEF by Defendant Jaclyn Lowitz re 24 MOTION to DISMISS CLAIMS MADE AGAINST HER IN COUNTS III, IV, V, AND VI OF AMENDED COMPLAINT (Hieb, Jack) (Entered: 09/28/2020)

Sept. 28, 2020

Sept. 28, 2020

PACER
26

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 17 MOTION to DISMISS for Failure to State a Claim filed by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 10/09/2020)

Oct. 9, 2020

Oct. 9, 2020

PACER
27

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 22 MOTION to DISMISS by Julie Cox filed by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 10/16/2020)

Oct. 16, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020

PACER
28

REPLY to 17 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Reply Brief in Support filed by Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Abraham, Douglas) (Entered: 10/19/2020)

Oct. 19, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

PACER
29

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 24 MOTION to DISMISS CLAIMS MADE AGAINST HER IN COUNTS III, IV, V, AND VI OF AMENDED COMPLAINT filed by Estate of Seryl Leroy Pomani. (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 10/19/2020)

Oct. 19, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

PACER
30

REPLY MEMORANDUM in Support re 22 MOTION to DISMISS filed by Julie Cox. (Murphy, Matthew) Modified Docket Text on 11/2/2020 (DLC). (Entered: 10/30/2020)

Oct. 30, 2020

Oct. 30, 2020

PACER
31

REPLY BRIEF in Support re 24 MOTION to DISMISS CLAIMS MADE AGAINST HER IN COUNTS III, IV, V, AND VI OF AMENDED COMPLAINT filed by Jaclyn Lowitz. (Hieb, Jack) Modified Docket Text on 11/2/2020 (DLC). (Entered: 10/30/2020)

Oct. 30, 2020

Oct. 30, 2020

PACER
32

NOTICE of Appearance by Daniel F. Duffy on behalf of Julie Cox. (Duffy, Daniel) (Entered: 04/14/2021)

April 14, 2021

April 14, 2021

PACER
33

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTS 3-6; granting 17 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; granting 22 Motion to Dismiss; granting 24 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 5/21/21. (SLW) (Entered: 05/21/2021)

May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021

RECAP
34

Unopposed MOTION to Extend Deadlines to Answer Amended Complaint by Bill Dodge, Hughes County, South Dakota, Mike Leidholt. (Anderson, Robert) (Entered: 06/07/2021)

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

PACER
35

ORDER granting 34 Motion to Extend Deadlines. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 6/7/21. (SLW) (Entered: 06/07/2021)

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

PACER
36

Second AMENDED COMPLAINT, with Jury Demand . (Pochop, Stephanie) (Entered: 07/26/2021)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

RECAP
37

Stipulation of Dismissal (attorney use)

Sept. 29, 2021

Sept. 29, 2021

PACER
38

Judgment

Oct. 1, 2021

Oct. 1, 2021

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: South Dakota

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 17, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Special administrator of the estate of a diabetic Native American man who died in the custody of the Hughes County Jail.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Hughes County, South Dakota (Hughes), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Failure to train

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

American Indian/Alaskan Native

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Type of Facility:

Government-run

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Indian