U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Forced Hospitalization and Medication — Failure to State a Claim
McGugan v. Aldana-Bernier
Judges Levall, Hall and Lohier
Background: The plaintiff commenced an action against a hospital and four of its employees for their alleged role in forcibly medicating and hospitalizing her. The defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted on the grounds that her Section 1983 claim failed to state a cause of action and her Rehabilitation Act claim failed to allege discrimination on the basis of disability against an otherwise qualified individual.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. The court held that the forcible medication and hospitalization by private health care providers could not fairly be attributed to the state. Also, she failed to plausibly allege that the forced medication and hospitalization were unrelated to or improper to consideration of the likelihood that she posed a danger to herself or others.
William M. Brooks of the Mental Disability Law Clinic for the plaintiff-appellant; Brian E. Lee of Ivone, Devine & Jensen, Bruce M. Brady of Callan, Koster, Brady & Brennan, Arjay G. Yao of Martin Clearwater & Bell for the defendants-appellees