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Date: 07-05-2022

Case Style:

Jennifer Hall, et al. v. Kenton County, Kentucky, et al.

Case Number: 2:19-cv-00054

Judge: William O. Bertelsman

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky (Kenton County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Christopher Scott Nordloh and Drew Cameron Harris

Description: Covington, Kentucky personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiff, who sued defendants on prisoner civil rights violation theories.

This is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to recover damages for the death of plaintiffs' child which occurred while her expectant mother, plaintiff Jennifer Hall, was incarcerated at the Kenton County Detention Center.

Plaintiff Jennifer Hall (“Hall”) was booked into the KCDC on April 19, 2018 to serve 180 days for contempt of court. . She was then 30 years old and nearing the end of her pregnancy, with a due date of June 2, 2018. The baby was a girl, and her parents had named her Serenity. Hall was also addicted to opioids and had been prescribed Methadone since March of 2016 to manage her addiction.

Meanwhile, Hall's labor was induced, and she delivered Serenity just after 7:00 p.m. (Kramer Dep. 32). The umbilical cord was loosely, but not tightly, wrapped around the baby's neck. Kramer, who has delivered over 3,500 babies, testified that a so-called “nuchal” cord is extremely common, and there was nothing about Serenity's appearance that made Kramer think she had been dead for a long time. (Kramer Dep. 32-33, 42, 70-71). Instead, Kramer testified that Serenity looked like a “healthy, sleeping baby,” and her skin was still pinkish. (Kramer Dep. 36, 42). Black
and white photos of the baby taken several hours after her birth are in the record.

Therefore, having carefully reviewed the record, and having heard from the parties, and being sufficiently advised, IT IS ORDERED that:

(1) The Kenton County defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 77) be, and is hereby, GRANTED;

(2) The Kenton County defendants' motion to exclude the opinion of Patrick Hurley (Doc. 96) be, and is hereby, DENIED AS MOOT;

(3) Plaintiffs' motion to exclude the expert opinions of Dr. Daniel Leino and Dr. Weslie Tyson (Doc. 101) is GRANTED AS TO DR. LEINO AND DENIED AS TO DR. TYSON;

(4) Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment against defendants' Carrie Ray and LaShae Setters on the issues of duty and breach (Doc. 102) be, and is hereby, DENIED. For the reasons stated in the above opinion, plaintiffs' claims against defendant Setters are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE;

(5) Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment against defendant Mark Schaffield, MD on the issues of duty and breach (Doc. 103) be, and is hereby, GRANTED;

(6) The SHP defendants' motion to exclude certain opinions and testimony of Matthew Thompson M.D. and Sara Ford (Doc. 104) be, and is hereby, DENIED;

(7) The SHP defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 105) be, and is hereby, GRANTED AS TO DEFENDANT SETTERS AND DENIED AS TO DEFENDANT SCHAFFIELD; and

(8) On or before July 25, 2022, the parties shall file a joint status report regarding proposed trial dates and/or the potential for settling the remaining claims in this matter.

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