Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Battery — Due Process
Vanbrocklen v. Erie County Medical Center
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The plaintiff was brought by ambulance to the defendant after suffering a severe panic attack at a movie theater. A doctor ordered injections of Haldol and Ativan, which were administered without the consent of the plaintiff. The plaintiff asserted claims sounding in medical malpractice, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as a number of constitutional claims. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, but did not dismiss the battery claims or the constitutional claims.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court found that it was well-settled that a defendant who exceeds the scope of consent may have committed battery rather than medical malpractice. Further, under the circumstances of the case, the defendant, as a public entity, did not establish that the plaintiff’s conduct was imminently likely to pose a risk of physical harm to himself or others, as required for due process.
Brett P. Gliosca of Ricotta & Visco for the defendant-appellant