Monday, January 23, 2012

Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2012)

In 2007 the 9th Circuit wrote another verbose decision allowing patients at a California State Institution for Sexually Violent Predators to file claims against hospital employees alleging violation of Constitutional rights.  In a 2-1 opinion the majority allowed the plaintiffs to proceed on some of their claims, including damages against individual employees and denying them qualified immunity;  Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2007). The Supreme Court reversed, in one sentence, citing its Iqbal case of inadequate pleading; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 137 (2009).

On remand to the 9th Circuit, the court in 2012 rewrote its original opinion and denied damages to individual employees on grounds of inadequate pleading, but emphasized plaintiffs could proceed on declaratory relief and injunction claims. And, said the court, the plaintiffs can proceed on a deliberate indifference theory.

The court also relied on its Starr v. Baca opinion, 652 F.3d 1202 ( 9th Cir. 2011)-eight judges dissenting from a denial of rehearing. 659 F.3d 650 (9th Cir. 2011).

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