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ARTICLE ID 195555

CONFIDENTIAL – Municipal Liability – Woman sues after having mouth taped while in custody for drunk and disorderly – Alleged violation of constitutional rights.

U.S. District Court, Massachusetts

In this municipal liability action, a woman sued the police of a Massachusetts town after officers taped her mouth shut. The suit was resolved via settlement.

On September 30, ________, the plaintiff, Izabella M., was a patron at the Eastern States Exposition (Big E) in the Town of West Springfield. Some time that evening, the plaintiff was taken into protective custody by officers of the West Springfield police for allegedly being intoxicated and disorderly. The plaintiff was temporarily placed at a holding area on the Big E grounds, and later transported to the Town of West Springfield Police Department. The plaintiff requested on multiple occasions to be permitted to call her significant other and leave, but she was not permitted a phone call. Ultimately, the defendant Captain Daniel O. informed her that she was making too much noise. The plaintiff was then bound to a chair by the wrists, ankles, and head, and had her mouth taped shut. The plaintiff has a history of asthma, and therefore, had difficulty breathing with the tape over her mouth. The plaintiff was ultimately permitted to make a phone call.

The plaintiff filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, naming as defendants, Captain O., as well as the Town of West Springfield. The plaintiff filed claims for violation of her rights under the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as assault and battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.The matter was resolved via settlement for a confidential amount

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