United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant Abraham Camarillo's
(“Defendant's”) Renewed Proposed Limiting
Instruction Regarding [Section] 1983 Causation
(“Defendant's Proposed Instruction, ” Doc.
243). Although Defendant's Proposed Instruction contains
only the language of the proposed jury instruction, Defendant
refers to his Trial Brief Regarding Causation Under 42 U.S.C.
[§] 1983, (Doc. 204), and his Motion for
Reconsideration, (Doc. 212), as providing the legal bases for
his proposed instruction. Plaintiff Yolanda Erickson filed a
Response in Opposition to Officer Camarillo's Renewed
Proposed Limiting Instruction Regarding [Section] 1983
Causation. (Doc. 253).
2013, Defendant was dispatched to an apartment complex
regarding a report that Miguel Ruiz (“Decedent”)
was attempting to “mess with” a rooftop A/C unit.
(Doc. 140 at 2). Defendant, who was on the ground floor,
watched officers attempt to encourage Decedent to enter an
aerial ladder bucket to no avail. (Id. at 3).
Defendant positioned himself near the outside stairwell of
the apartment in case Decedent jumped onto a second-floor
landing. (Id. at 3-4). After Decedent jumped nearly
10 feet to the second-floor landing, Defendant grabbed him
and secured a hold around his neck. (Id. at 4).
After over three minutes from when Defendant first engaged
Decedent, officers were able to handcuff him. (Id.).
After over five minutes into the struggle, officers carried
Decedent down a stairway to EMS personnel, who determined
that Decedent was pulseless. (Id.). Although EMS
personnel resuscitated Decedent, he was taken off life
support five days later due to an anoxic brain injury.
mother, Plaintiff Yolanda Erickson, sued Defendant as
personal representative of Decedent's estate.
Plaintiff's remaining claim against Defendant is a
Section 1983 excessive force claim. (Id. at 33). At
trial, Defendant has presented-or is expected to
present-expert testimony that Defendant's conduct did not
cause or contribute to Decedent's death, which was
instead caused by methamphetamine-induced excited delirium.
(See, e.g., Docs. 224 at 33, 37; 228 at 40, 79).
Plaintiff's case theory is that Defendant's conduct
caused or, at the very least, contributed to Decedent's
death. (Doc. 253 at 3).
PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTION
Court's proposed jury instruction regarding damages in
this Section 1983 excessive force case is excerpted as
If you find for Plaintiff, you must determine Plaintiff's
damages. Damages means the amount of money that will
reasonably and fairly compensate Plaintiff Yolanda
Erickson-as personal representative of the Estate of Miguel
Ruiz-for the injuries to Decedent that you find were caused
Plaintiff's claim, you should consider the following:
(1) The loss of enjoyment of life experienced prior to death;
(2) The mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering
experienced by Decedent prior to death;
(3) The reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and
services for the injury caused by Defendant; and
(4) If you find Defendant's conduct caused
Plaintiff's death, the reasonable expenses of funeral and
Plaintiff has the burden of proving damages by a
preponderance of the evidence, and it is for you to determine
what damages, if any, have been proved. Your award must be
based upon3 evidence and not upon speculation,
guesswork, or conjecture.
objects to factor (2) in the above instruction and proposes
that the Court instead give the following instruction in
factor (2)'s place:
If you determine that [Defendant's] use of force during
his struggle with [Decedent] did not cause his death, you
cannot award Plaintiff any damages for [Decedent's]
pre-death pain and suffering.
243 at 1). Plaintiff argues that Defendant's proposed
instruction is inappropriate because, even if Defendant did
not legally cause Decedent's death, Section 1983 allows
Plaintiff to recover ...