Phillips v. Douglas County

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Phillips v. Douglas County

Case Number
S-15-0324
Call Date
January 7, 2016
Court Number
Douglas
Case Summary

S-15-0324, Joan C. Phillips (Appellant) & Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Douglas County, et al.

Douglas County, Hon. Gary B. Randall

Attorneys: Raymond K. Wilson, Jr. & Ronald E. Frank, (Sodoro Daly Shomaker & Delde PCLLO) (Appellant) ---Sandra Connolly, Douglas Co. Attorney's Office.

Civil: Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act; intentional tort exclusion

Proceedings Below: Phillips filed suit against Douglas County for injuries she received as a bystander to the actions of the Douglas County Sheriff in taking another person into custody. The district court concluded that her injuries arose out of battery, and accordingly Douglas County was immune from liability.

Issues: I. The Trial Court erred in granting the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. The Plaintiff was injured by the Sheriff's Deputies' negligent tactics in their attempt to take a minor female student into custody. The Trial Court erred by finding that the Defendants' conduct arose out of a battery. II. The Trial Court erred in ignoring Nebraska law's definition of battery as any intentional, unlawful, unconsented infliction of physical violence or contact with another. The Sheriff s Deputies' contact with the student was in lawful accordance with their court order to place the minor female student into custody. Because the contact was lawful, the conduct cannot be a "battery'' and the Trial Court erred in conferring immunity on Defendants. III. The Trial Court erred in granting the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in that because the conduct did not arise out of a battery, the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act exceptions do not act to confer immunity on Defendants. IV. The Trial Court erred in not finding that there was a question of fact as to whether the Plaintiff was injured by the negligence of Defendants.