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.

Octave v. Wade

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

February 3, 2017

GLORIA JUANITA OCTAVE, Administratrix of the Estate of Lutalo Octave, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL L. WADE, AUGUSTUS EDWARDS, SARA TOLENTINO, ASHLEY RHOADES, CHRISTINE SCHEIN, LOUIS FOX, and JOHN DOE S JAIL STAFF, Defendants.

          OPINION

          JOHN A. GIBNEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Lutalo Octave, a pretrial detainee, committed suicide at Henrico County Regional Jail West (the "County Jail"). Octave's mother ("Mrs. Octave"), the Administratrix of Octave's Estate, has sued the Henrico County Sheriff, unknown correctional officers at the County Jail ("John Doe(s) Jail Staff), and five members of the County Jail's medical staff (the "Medical Staff Defendants").[1] Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, she alleges the Medical Staff Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to Octave's serious medical needs, in violation of his substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.[2] Mrs. Octave also raises state law claims based on both negligence and gross negligence. The Medical Staff Defendants have moved to dismiss all counts brought against them. The Court grants the motion as to the claims of deliberate indifference and gross negligence because the complaint does not identify specific facts demonstrating liability by each defendant. The Court grants leave to amend the complaint to cure the defects.

         Sovereign immunity protects the Medical Staff Defendants from the state law claim of simple negligence. The Court dismisses that claim with prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Police arrested Octave on August 14, 2015, after he set fire to his parents' home. Police took him to the County Jail, where intake records did not report any major medical problems.

         On August 19, 2015, Mrs. Octave spoke with Christine Schein at the County Jail and asked the jail staff to give Octave a mental health evaluation based on his recent unusual behavior, including his crime. Over the next few days, members of the medical staff, including Augustus Edwards and Ashley Rhoades, met with and evaluated Octave.[3] The staff noted that Octave gave confused answers, experienced hallucinations and delusions, heard voices, and had thoughts of self-harm. On August 28, 2015, Louis Fox diagnosed Octave with schizophreniform disorder, a form of psychosis with symptoms of schizophrenia.

         On August 29, 2015, after Octave made additional suicidal statements, the jail placed him on a one-to-one mental health watch. On August 31, 2015, Edwards transferred him from one-to-one watch into the mental health dayroom, with instructions for correctional officers to watch him once every thirty minutes.

         On September 10, 2015, Octave told Sara Tolentino that if he harmed himself, he would do so by hanging. On September 11, 2015, jail officials transferred Octave to a camera cell with an improperly functioning camera, [4] with continued instructions to watch him once every thirty minutes. The camera cell had a high shelf on the wall and sheets on the bed. Octave continued to report hallucinations and thoughts of self-harm.

         On September 19, 2016, Octave hanged himself with his bedsheet. Guards found him at 11:56 a.m., twenty-three minutes after the most recent check-in. Emergency personnel attempted to revive Octave and took him to the hospital, but the hospital pronounced him dead at 12:42 p.m.

         II. DISCUSSION[5]

         Against the Medical Staff Defendants, Mrs. Octave alleges unconstitutional deliberate indifference to Octave's medical needs in Count III, gross negligence in Count IV, and negligence in Count V. The Medical Staff Defendants ask this Court to dismiss all counts against them.

         A. Negligence

         Sovereign immunity protects the Medical Staff Defendants against the state law claim of simple negligence. In Virginia, sovereign immunity protects employees of a local government if: (1) the employing entity has immunity for the function performed by the employees; (2) the employees meet the four-factor test set forth in James v. Jane; and (3) the claim against the employee raises liability based on simple ...


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.