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Leadholm v. City of Commerce City

United States District Court, D. Colorado

August 8, 2017

CARL LEADHOLM, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF COMMERCE CITY, COLORADO, CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, JJ ROUANZOIN, JEREMY JENKINS, and MICHAEL DIENER, Defendants.

          ORDER RE: IN CAMERA REVIEW

          Michael E. Hegarty, United States Magistrate Judge.

         On July 26, 2017, this Court held a discovery conference at the parties' request. During the conference, Defendants objected to Plaintiff's redaction of certain medical records. The parties provided the Court with both redacted and unredacted copies of the challenged records for in camera review. To determine whether the records are properly redacted, the Court must consider both the Plaintiff's allegations and the applicable law.

         Plaintiff's Allegations

         The Court has set forth the Plaintiff's allegations in its May 9, 2017 order on the Defendants' motion to dismiss as follows:

On November 18, 2014, the Plaintiff, Carl Leadholm, was driving home after working a full day at a recycling company. At some point during his drive home, Plaintiff suffered from a medical condition due to low levels of glucose in his blood, which caused him dizziness and blurred vision. This condition caused Plaintiff to swerve his vehicle and drive erratically. Defendants Dickey and Rouanzoin first encountered Plaintiff on the road, saw the vehicle swerving, and pulled him over to the side of the road. Rather than ask Plaintiff whether he was alright, Dickey and Rouanzoin immediately started to shout at him. Dickey and Rouanzoin did not attempt to secure any information from Plaintiff regarding his identity, nor explain why they pulled him over. The officers did not ask any questions about Plaintiff's medical condition. Rather, they opened the car door, pulled Plaintiff out, and slammed him onto the pavement.
Plaintiff, who had no previous interaction with law enforcement, curled into a fetal position on the pavement to protect himself. When Dickey and Rouanzoin pulled Plaintiff out of the vehicle, the truck was still in “drive” and it began to roll into oncoming traffic. Rouanzoin chased and entered the vehicle, stopped it, and shut the engine off.
While Plaintiff was still on the ground, Dickey and Rouanzoin jammed Plaintiff's face into the pavement. At that point, Defendant Diener sprayed Plaintiff in the face with pepper spray, then Dickey, Rouanzoin, Jenkins, Diener, and Lord (the “Individual Defendants”) struck Plaintiff with batons in the legs. During this beating, Dickey accidently struck Rouanzoin with his baton. Dickey also applied multiple taser strikes to Plaintiff. Further, the Individual Defendants wrenched Plaintiff's right hand behind his back causing pain and damage to his hand, fingers, and rotator cuff. These injuries necessitated two surgeries. Plaintiff will require additional surgeries every ten years to replace the joint in his finger.
Plaintiff did not resist the police officer's attempts to physically restrain him. Eventually, an ambulance was called to provide emergency care for Plaintiff. When the paramedics gave him a chance to speak, Plaintiff indicated that he was diabetic and did not feel well. The paramedics tested Plaintiff's blood glucose level and found his readings to be at a level of 35.

         According to information from the University of Michigan's Health System Department of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes pertaining to hypoglycemia-or low blood glucose-a blood glucose reading of 35 is defined as follows:

Severe hypoglycemia
The symptoms of severe low blood sugar develop when blood sugar falls below 35-40 mg/dL and may include:
* Seizures or convulsions
* Loss of consciousness, ...

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