Rife v Oklahoma Department of Public Safety et al.

Rife appealed summary judgment to Department, the arresting state trooper, two jailers and the jail itself for wrongful arrest and deprivation of medical attention. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It affirmed as to Department and the trooper as probable cause existed to arrest Rife for public intoxication including his failure of serval sobriety tests, his disorientation and declarations he felt floaty. It reversed on all the medical claims noting Rife received no medical care and holding 1. The trooper had subjective awareness of Rife’s need for assistance as he groaned and complained of chest and heart pain and that he felt sick, the physical evidence of stains on the motorcycle and Rife’s clothing plus his disorientation suggested an accident which placed rife at risk of injury; 2. The same facts could support a finding of negligence against Department; 3. The jailers knew Rife was disoriented, was slurring his speech and dazed, groaned loudly in his medical observation cell and complained of stomach pain and collapsed after being released; 4. The jail could also be liable for deliberate indifference on the facts supporting liability for jailers; and 5. All issues of whether Rife’s constitutional rights were clearly established should be decided by the district court on remand in the first instance. It also held that Rife forfeited his spoliation of evidence claim by not raising it below and in any event the claim is meritless as there was no bad faith on the part of the jail when it erased the tape of his booking.