Qualified Immunity from Constitutional Torts

Cleveland v. Bell , 5th Cir., No. 18-30968, 9/13/19

Prison nurse who ignored the deceased prisoner’s requests for medical care found to have qualified immunity from a 1983 claim. She did not show conscious indifference to his plight because she believed he did not need medical care:

“The Supreme Court has made clear that actual knowledge is an essential element of Plaintiffs’ burden, as mere negligence cannot establish a constitutional violation. Given the lack of evidence about Nurse Bell’s subjective awareness of a substantial risk of serious harm to Cleveland, Plaintiffs cannot show a constitutional violation at step one of the qualified-immunity analysis.” at 6, citations omitted.

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