Powell v. Shelton et al
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, [Doc. No. 77], is granted. A separate judgment in accordance with this Opinion, Memorandum and Order is entered this same date. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on October 19, 2020. (MCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
NICHOLAS SHELTON, et al.,
) Case No. 4:17CV2017 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion for Summary
Judgment, [Doc. No. 77]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion, and Defendants have filed
a reply. The matter is therefore ripe for adjudication.
Facts and Background
On August 19, 2014, Nicholas Shelton and Ellis Brown were police officers
with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (“SLMPD”). (Ex. D, Shelton
Aff. ¶ 1; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 1). On that day, Officers Shelton and Brown were
assigned to the 6th District in the City of St. Louis and were both in full police
uniform. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 2; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 2). Officers Shelton and
Brown were manning marked SLMPD police vehicle 805 and were utilizing call
sign 1634. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 3; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 3). At approximately
12:20 p.m., Officer Shelton and Brown received a radio assignment for a
disturbance at the Six Star Market at 8701 Riverview near the intersection of
Riverview and McLaran. The dispatcher advised that a tall black male wearing a
blue hooded jacket and khaki pants was creating a disturbance and refusing to give
back items he had apparently taken from the Six Star Market. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff.
¶ 4; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 4; Ex. A, Radio Transmission Recording 1). While enroute to the call, the dispatcher further advised the officers that, according to a
second 911 caller, the same subject was walking back and forth in front of a barber
shop with two knives –one in his right pocket and one in his hand.(Ex. D, Shelton
Aff. ¶ 5; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 5; Ex. A, Radio Transmission Recording 2). When
they arrived at the intersection of Riverview and McLaran, both saw a black male
wearing khaki pants and a blue hooded jacket pacing back and forth on the
sidewalk in front of a barber shop. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 6; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶
“Exhibit B” is a video recorded that day by a witness with a cell phone
camera which fairly and accurately depicts the recorded events as they occurred on
August 19, 2014. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 9; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 10; Ex. B). As the
traffic signal turned green, Officer Brown drove the marked police vehicle past the
subject’s location at which time Officers Shelton and Brown both saw the subject
staring at the police vehicle with his right hand inside his right front jacket pocket.
(Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 10; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 13; Ex. B at 1:10-1:20).
As Officers Shelton and Brown came to the intersection of Riverview and
Grape, Officer Brown made a u-turn towards the subject’s location and curbed the
marked police vehicle at a distance both believed to be approximately 30 feet north
of the subject. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 12; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 14; Ex. B at 1:141:23). The officers tactically positioned their vehicle pursuant to their training and
experience to provide cover from potential gunfire. (Ex. B at 1:37-1:40); (Ex. 1,
Brown Depo 47:19-22). As Officer Shelton exited the passenger side of the
marked police vehicle, he ordered the subject, later identified as Kajieme Powell
(“Powell”), to show his hands by repeatedly stating “get your hand out of your
pocket.” (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 13; Ex. B at 1:25-1:29). Officer Brown also
ordered Powell to take his hand out of his pocket. (Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 16; Ex. B
at 1:26-127). Both believing Powell was armed and both seeing that he had his
right hand in his pocket, Officers Shelton and Brown drew their department-issued
handguns. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 14; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 15; Ex. B at 1:26).
Powell then quickly moved towards Officers Shelton and Brown and pulled
an approximately eight inch long knife out of his pocket. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 15;
Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 17; Ex. B at 1:29, showing a blade in Powell’s hand). After
pulling out the knife, Powell began quickly moving toward Officers Shelton and
Brown while yelling “kill me,” “shoot me.” (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 16; Ex. E,
Brown Aff. ¶¶ 17, 18; Ex. B at 1:29-1:31). Both Officers Shelton and Brown
ordered Powell to drop the knife. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 17; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶
19). Officers Shelton and Brown ordered Powell to drop the knife a combined six
times. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 18; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 20; Ex. B at 1:30-1:39).
Powell did not comply with the officers’ orders and did not drop the knife. (Ex. D,
Shelton Aff. ¶ 18; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 20). Powell yelled “shoot me now
mother*****,” stepped up on a concrete embankment, and quickly moved toward
Officer Shelton while gripping the knife with the blade pointed toward his pinky
finger (“overhand grip”).(Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 19; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 21; Ex. B
at 1:33-1:40). Although Plaintiff characterizes Powell’s arm movements as
“swinging his hands naturally back and forth,” Powell continued to hold the knife
in an overhand grip. Powell continued to advance toward Officer Shelton in what
Officers Shelton and Brown both perceived as an aggressive manner and Powell
did not drop the knife. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 20; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 22; Ex. B at
1:37-1:40). Officer Shelton perceived Powell to be extremely agitated and Officer
Shelton believed Powell was going to stab him. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 22). Officer
Brown likewise believed Powell intended to stab Officer Shelton. (Ex. E, Brown
Aff. ¶ 24). It was physically possible for the officers to move behind the police
vehicle as Powell approached. (Ex. 1, Brown Depo. 65:19-24).
When Powell reached what Officer Brown believed was approximately six
to eight feet away from Officer Shelton, he fired his department-issued handgun at
Powell. (Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 25). Officer Shelton, fearing for his life and
believing Powell was going to stab him, also fired his department-issued handgun
at Powell. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 23; Ex. B at 1:40-42). Powell continued to
advance toward Officer Shelton with the knife still in his hand and Officers
Shelton and Brown continued to fire until Powell fell to the ground at Officer
Shelton’s feet. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 24; Ex. E, Brown Aff. ¶ 26; Ex. B at 1:4042). Powell continued to grasp the knife in his right hand until he released it onto
his chest while he was on the ground. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 24; Ex. E, Brown Aff.
¶ 26; Ex. B at 1:50).
Officer Brown immediately contacted Emergency Medical Services as
Officer Shelton removed the knife lying on Powell’s chest and placed it in the
parking lot behind him and out of Powell’s reach. (Ex. D, Shelton Aff. ¶ 27; Ex. E,
Brown Aff. ¶¶ 27, 28; Ex. B at 2:18-2:21).
The DNA profile obtained from the knife is consistent with the DNA of
Kajieme Powell. (Ex. F, Preiter Aff. ¶ 12). Excluding an identical twin, Kajieme
Powell is the source of the DNA detected from a swab of apparent blood on the
handle of the knife recovered from the scene of the Incident. (Ex. F, Preiter Aff. ¶¶
Plaintiff agrees that Powell had an elongated object in his right hand. (Ex. H,
Pl.’s Dep. at 43-44; Ex. J Cell Phone Video Screenshot at 1:29; Ex. B at 1:29).
Plaintiff agrees that at the 40th Second in the Cell Phone Video, 1:14 on the Cell
Phone Video, and 1:24 on the Cell Phone Video, Powell had his right hand in his
pocket.(Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 48; Ex. B at 0:40, 1:14, 1:24). Plaintiff agrees that
Officers Shelton and Brown ordered Powell to get his hand out of his pocket
multiple times while his hand was in his pocket. (Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 51-52).
Plaintiff agrees that an elongated object is visible in Powell’s hand in the Cell
Phone Video at 1:29.(Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 52-53; Ex. B at 1:29; Ex. J Cell Phone
Video Screenshot at 1:29).34.An elongated object is visible in Powell’s hand in the
Cell Phone Video at 1:29.(Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 52-53; Ex. B at 1:29; Ex. J, Cell
Phone Video Screenshot at 1:29; Ex. K, Additional Cell Phone Video Screenshot).
Exhibit B to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (the “Cell Phone Video”)
is identical to the video Plaintiff received shortly after this shooting in all respects.
(Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. 61-62; Ex. B at 1:29). Plaintiff has no reason to doubt that the
blood on the knife recovered from the scene matched Powell’s DNA. (Ex. H, Pl.’s
Dep. at 67). The only “evidence” Plaintiff claims she has to support her allegation
that Powell did not have a knife is that she does not “remember seeing an object in
[Powell’s] hand]” when she first watched the video.(Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 71).
Plaintiff agrees that the Cell Phone Video shows Officer Shelton reach down,
apparently pick an object up off Powell’s chest, and toss the object into the parking
lot behind him. (Ex. H, Pl.’s Dep. at 77-78).
Plaintiff agrees that the video evidence could be consistent with Officer
Shelton taking a knife from Powell and tossing it to where it was recovered. (Ex.
H, Pl.’s Dep. at 78; Ex. I, Knife Photo at Scene; Ex. L, Scene Photo; Ex. B at 2:182:21).
The officers were equipped with tasers and both believe they were equipped
with pepper spray on August 19, 2014. (Ex. 2, Shelton Depo 42:6-8).
City has not purchased any liability insurance policy to cover torts, personal
injuries, or any other claims that do not arise from dangerous property conditions
or the operation of motor vehicles. (Ex. G, Kistler Dec. ¶ 3).
Defendants move for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s remaining claims.1
“Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light most
favorable to [Plaintiff] and giving him the benefit of all reasonable
inferences, shows there is no genuine issue of material fact.” Morgan v. A.G.
Edwards, 486 F.3d 1034, 1039 (8th Cir. 2007). We avoid judging an
officer's split-second decision (made with imperfect information) against one
we would make with a complete record and the benefit of hindsight.
Plumhoff v. Rickard, 572 U.S. 765, 775, 134 S.Ct. 2012, 188 L.Ed.2d 1056
Goffin v. Ashcraft, No. 18-1430, 2020 WL 6072839, at *2–3 (8th Cir. Oct. 15,
Counts II, III, V, and VI have been previously dismissed.
Cases involving the use of deadly force are analyzed under the Fourth
Amendment. Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 7 (1985).
An officer's actions are justified when they are “objectively reasonable in
light of the facts and circumstances confronting [the officer], without regard
to [the officer's] underlying intent or motivation.” Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 397, 109 S.Ct. 1865, 104 L.Ed.2d 443 (1989); see also Capps v.
Olson, 780 F.3d 879, 884 (8th Cir. 2015). An officer is justified in using
lethal force when she “has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a
threat of serious physical harm to the officer or others.” Garner, 471 U.S. at
Goffin, No. 18-1430, 2020 WL 6072839, at *2–3.
Defendants Brown and Shelton are entitled to qualified immunity if their
conduct did not “violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights
of which a reasonable person would have known.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald,
457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982). We do “not
define clearly established law at a high level of generality.” Ashcroft v. alKidd, 563 U.S. 731, 742, 131 S.Ct. 2074, 179 L.Ed.2d 1149 (2011). “The
dispositive question is whether the violative nature of particular conduct is
clearly established.” Mullenix v. Luna, 577 U.S. 7, 136 S. Ct. 305, 308, 193
L.Ed.2d 255 (2015) (per curiam) (citation omitted).
“The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the
perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision
of hindsight.” Kisela v. Hughes, __ U.S. __, 138 S. Ct. 1148, 1152 (2018) citing
Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386, 396 (1989). And “[t]he calculus of
reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often
forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain,
and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular
situation.” Kisela, 138 S. Ct. at 1152 (citing Graham, 490 U.S. at 396-397).
Plaintiff must identify “either ‘controlling authority’ or ‘a robust
consensus of cases of persuasive authority’ that ‘placed the statutory or
constitutional question beyond debate’ at the time of the alleged violation.” Kelsay
v. Ernst, 933 F.3d 975, 979 (8th Cir. 2019) (en banc) (quoting Ashcroft, 563 U.S. at
741–42). “A plaintiff's failure to identify a case where an officer acting under
similar circumstances was held to have violated the Fourth Amendment is often
fatal to a claim outside of obvious cases.” K. W. P. v. Kansas City Public Schools,
931 F.3d 813, 828 (8th Cir. 2019).
The undisputed facts establish that the officers were advised by dispatch that
Powell was armed. When they arrived at the scene, Powell had his hands in his
pockets when they arrived. Defendants ordered him to take his hands out of his
pockets, and upon doing so, Defendants saw Powell with an eight inch knife.
Powell held the knife in an overhand grip. Despite being ordered to drop the knife
a combined total of six times, Powell did not comply. Powell quickly approached
the officers yelling, continuing to hold the knife in an overhand grip. The video
evidence establishes that although Powell turned and walked onto the
embankment, he thereafter continued to approach the officers. Both officers have
testified that they were in fear that Powell would stab Officer Shelton. At the point
where Powell was approximately six to eight feet from Officer Shelton, Officer
Brown fired his weapon because he believed Powell was going to injure Officer
Shelton. Likewise, Officer Shelton fired his weapon because he feared for his own
safety as Powell approached him in what he believed to be an aggressive manner.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has very recently addressed the use of
deadly force by police officers in circumstances similar to the instant matter. In
Sok Kong Tr. For Map Kong v. City of Burnsville, 960 F.3d 985, (8th Cir. 2020),
the Court held:
Cases decided by this court after Ludwig make clear that, at the time of
Kong’s shooting, officers could use deadly force to stop a person armed with
a bladed weapon if they reasonably believed the person could kill or
seriously injure others. See Hayek v. City of St. Paul, 488 F.3d 1049, 1055
(8th Cir. 2007) (samurai sword); Hassan v. City of Minneapolis, 489 F.3d
914, 919 (8th Cir. 2007) (machete); Estate of Morgan v. Cook, 686 F.3d 494,
498 (8th Cir. 2012) (knife). Though Kong appeared high on meth, the cases
establish that mental illness or intoxication does not reduce the immediate
and significant threat a suspect poses. See, e.g., Hassan, 489 F.3d at 919
(mental illness); Estate of Morgan, 686 F.3d at 498 (intoxication).
Id, at 993.
The video evidence here memorializes Powell’s actions. He was seen
pacing back and forth. When the officers approached him, he yelled, refused
commands to drop the knife, and continued to quickly move toward the officers
with the knife held in an overhand grip. These actions combined justify the
officers’ reasonable belief that Powell could kill or injure Officer Shelton.
Even if the officers caused Kong to leave his car by confronting him, they
would reasonably believe the law allowed them to shoot him if he posed an
immediate and significant threat. Even if officers “created the need to use”
deadly force by trying to disarm a mentally ill person, the reasonableness of
force depends on the threat the person poses during the shooting. Schulz v.
Long, 44 F.3d 643, 649 (8th Cir. 1995). In Schulz, a mentally ill man
isolated himself in his parents’ basement. Id. at 645. Although he initially
presented no threat and had committed no crime, officers removed his
hatchet and tried to subdue him. Id. at 646. The suspect attacked with an ax,
forcing an officer to shoot him. Id. This court upheld exclusion of evidence
that the officers “created the need to use force.” Id. at 649.
Likewise, in Hayek, officers acted reasonably although their acts led a
mentally ill man to attack them with a samurai sword. Hayek, 488 F.3d at
1054-55 (upholding qualified immunity for fatal shooting). Though Hayek
had committed no crime, officers decided to remove him from his home
because his mentally unstable behavior showed he might harm his mother,
when she returned to the home. Id. at 1055. When he resisted being
handcuffed, they chased him back into the home with a police dog. Id. at
1053. Hayek attacked an officer with a samurai sword, forcing the other
officers to shoot him in response to his threatening and violent behavior. Id.
at 1053, 1055.
In Hassan, officers tried to disarm a man walking down the middle of the
street carrying a machete and a tire iron. Hassan, 489 F.3d at 917. He
ignored repeated commands to drop his weapons. Id. Seeing pedestrians in
the direction he was headed, an officer tased him twice. Id. Running into the
parking lot of a strip mall, the man raised his machete toward an officer
(although he obeyed commands to stop). Id. He moved toward officers
despite being tased. Id. at 918. He continued to approach officers, making
slashing motions with his machete and hitting a police car with it. Id.
Officers shot him fatally. Id.
Based on Schulz, Hayek, and Hassan, a reasonable officer would have
believed the law permitted shooting Kong. Like the officers in Schulz and
Hayek, the Burnsville officers tried to disarm Kong to prevent him from
causing harm, even if he initially posed no immediate threat to others. See
Schulz, 44 F.3d at 646; Hayek, 488 F.3d at 1055. When Kong left his car, the
threat he posed justified lethal force, even if officers caused him to leave his
car. See Hayek, 488 F.3d at 1055. Like the man in Hassan, Kong’s
unpredictable behavior with his weapon made him dangerous even if he had
not yet harmed anyone. See Hassan, 489 F.3d at 919. Cf. Swearingen v.
Judd, 930 F.3d 983, 988 (8th Cir. 2019) (holding that the law as of 2014 did
not clearly establish a right when knife-wielding suspect posed threat of
serious injury or death, even though he had not committed a violent crime
against a person). Just as in Hassan, repeated commands and tasing did not
cause Kong to drop his knife. See Hassan, 489 F.3d at 919. The encounter
occurred in a McDonald’s parking lot with citizens in the vicinity, like the
strip mall parking lot in Hassan. See id. While Hassan involved pedestrians,
the McDonald’s parking lot had at least one pedestrian and several citizens
in cars. See id. at 917.
The Trustee emphasizes that Kong, like Ludwig, may not have committed a
violent felony. See Ludwig, 54 F.3d at 473-74; Kisela, 138 S. Ct. at 1152,
quoting Graham, 490 U.S. at 396, 109 S.Ct. 1865 (one factor for excessive
force is “the severity of the crime at issue”). The district court found a
material dispute of fact whether Kong committed a violent felony by shaking
the knife in the car and moving the blade closer to officer Jacobs. Kong,
2018 WL 6591229, at *12. Viewing the facts most favorably to the Trustee,
Kong did not commit a violent felony. Id.
However, 17 years after Ludwig, in Estate of Morgan, this court held that a
knife-wielding man posed an immediate and significant threat even though
he did not commit a violent felony. See Estate of Morgan, 686 F.3d at 497.
Officers responded to a domestic disturbance at Morgan’s house. Id. at 495.
Morgan appeared intoxicated. Id. He stumbled on the porch, falling into a
recliner, trying to conceal a kitchen knife by his side. Id. at 495-96. An
officer pointed a gun at him from six to twelve feet away, ordering him
repeatedly to drop the knife. Id. at 496. Morgan stood up, holding the knife
pointed downward at his side. Id. He then raised his right leg as if to take a
step in the officer’s direction. Id. The officer shot him fatally. Id. This court
held the officer acted reasonably because he had probable cause to believe
Morgan posed a threat of imminent, substantial bodily injury. Id. at 497.
Like Morgan, Kong did not attack an officer with his knife before being
shot. See Kong, 2018 WL 6591229, at *6 (assuming facts most favorably to
Kong). Neither Morgan nor Kong threatened officers verbally. See Estate of
Morgan, 686 F.3d at 495-96; Kong, 2018 WL 6591229, at *5–6. Both men
appeared under the influence of a substance. See Estate of Morgan, 686 F.3d
at 495; Kong, 2018 WL 6591229, at *3. Based on Estate of Morgan, a
reasonable officer would have believed the law permitted shooting Kong
even without a violent felony.
Existing precedent of the Supreme Court and this circuit did not provide fair
warning to the Burnsville officers that shooting Kong under these
circumstances was unreasonable.
Id, at 993–95. See also, Dean Birkeland Tr. For John O. Birkeland, 971 F.3d 787
(2020) (officers entitled to qualified immunity for use of deadly force on a knife
wielding decedent). Accordingly, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment
on Count I of the First Amended Complaint alleging a violation of Decedent
Powell’s civil rights by using excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
the Fourth Amendment.
With respect to Plaintiff’s wrongful death claim under Missouri State Law
against Defendants Brown and Shelton, and the City of St. Louis, (Count IV),
Defendants argue they are entitled to official immunity and sovereign immunity,
Under Missouri law, “public officials exercising discretionary duties, as
opposed to ministerial duties, are entitled to official immunity from suit for ‘all
discretionary acts’ unless the officials acted “in bad faith or with malice,” which
ordinarily requires ‘actual intent to cause injury.’ State ex rel. Twiehaus v. Adolf,
706 S.W.2d 443, 446–47 (Mo.1986) (en banc).” Austell v. Sprenger, 690 F.3d 929,
938 (8th Cir. 2012). “[A] police officer's decision to use force in the performance
of his duties is discretionary rather than ministerial.” Davis v. White, 794 F.3d
1008, 1013 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted
But “official immunity does not apply to discretionary acts done in bad faith or
with malice.” Id. “Acting with malice requires an actual intent to cause injury.”
Wealot v. Brooks, 865 F.3d 1119, 1129 (8th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). “A
finding of bad faith embraces more than bad judgment or negligence. It imports a
dishonest purpose, moral obliquity, conscious wrongdoing, or breach of a known
duty through some ulterior motive.” Id. (citations omitted).
The record before the Court is completely devoid of any evidence that
Officers Brown and Shelton acted with malice or bad faith. The officers were
confronted with an agitated individual wielding a knife in an overhanded grip and
moving quickly toward them. He failed to comply with their repeated orders to
drop the weapon and continued his advance. Their actions in using deadly force in
this instance are protected by official immunity.
“[I]n the absence of an express statutory exception to sovereign immunity,
or a recognized common law exception such as the proprietary function and
consent exceptions, sovereign immunity is the rule and applies to all suits against
public entities[.]” Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist. v. City of Bellefontaine Neighbors,
476 S.W.3d 913, 921-22 (Mo. 2016). Missouri law provides statutory exceptions to
sovereign immunity, including, as relevant here, when a political subdivision
purchases liability insurance to cover certain tort claims, in the amount of and for
the purposes covered by the insurance purchased. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.610.1; see
also Hammer v. City of Osage Beach, 318 F.3d 832, 841 (8th Cir. 2003). “[A]
plaintiff must specifically plead facts demonstrating that the claim is within this
exception to sovereign immunity” by pleading the existence of insurance and that
the insurance covers the plaintiff's claim. Epps v. City of Pine Lawn, 353 F.3d 588,
594 (8th Cir. 2003).
With regard to the state-law claim of wrongful death, Plaintiff has not pled
that the City has waived sovereign immunity through its purchase of liability
insurance, in accordance with the exception under § 537.610. Plaintiff, for the first
time in her opposition to the second Motion for Summary Judgment claim the City
has purchased insurance through the Public Facilities Protection Corporation,
(“PFPC”). As such, Plaintiff has not disclosed any of her relied upon material for
her argument that the City has waived sovereign immunity pursuant to Rule 26(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As such, Plaintiff is barred from using
these materials to oppose summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c)(1). Nothing in
Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint nor her response to the motion for summary
judgment provides evidence of a waiver of sovereign immunity as to her claim of
wrongful death against the City of St. Louis.
Based upon the foregoing analysis, Defendants are entitled to judgment as a
matter of law under Rule 56. The Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion for Summary
Judgment, [Doc. No. 77], is granted.
A separate judgment in accordance with this Opinion, Memorandum and
Order is entered this same date.
Dated this 19th day of October, 2020.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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