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Fifth Circuit Affirms Judgment for Deputies in Excessive Force Suit

On October 28, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment for sheriff’s deputies accused of excessive force in the death of a prisoner.

Debbie Loggins died while being transported to jail. Loggins was placed in the back of the deputies’ car facedown, hog-tied. Loggins was hog-tied because she was combative upon her arrest.

During the ride to jail, Loggins became quiet and at some point stopped breathing. The exact cause of her death was never determined, although it was believed to be related from positional asphyxia.

Loggins’ estate sued the deputies who transported Loggins, claiming excessive force. The district court granted summary judgment for the deputies. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment, holding that Loggins’ estate had failed to create a genuine issue of material fact “that the use of four-point restraints was objectively unreasonable.” The court also held that Loggins’ estate failed to submit any evidence that the deputies “possessed subjective knowledge that their chosen method of transporting Loggins posed a substantial risk of serious medical harm.” See: Hill v. Carroll County, Miss., 587 F.3d 230 (5th Cir. 2009)

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Related legal case

Hill v. Carroll County, Miss.