Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Erickson v. Camarillo

United States District Court, D. Arizona

May 30, 2017

Yolanda Erickson, Plaintiff,
v.
Abraham Camarillo, Defendant.

          ORDER

          James A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge.

         Pending 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.[1] Plaintiff Yolanda Erickson filed a Response in Opposition to Officer Camarillo's Renewed Proposed Limiting Instruction Regarding [Section] 1983 Causation. (Doc. 253).

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND[2]

         In July 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. (Id.).

         Decedent's 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).

         II. PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTION

         The Court's proposed jury instruction regarding damages in this Section 1983 excessive force case is excerpted as follows:

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 by Defendant.

         On 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 burial.
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.[3]

         Defendant 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.

         (Doc. 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.