United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani United States District Judge
Marie Winfield filed this civil rights action for damages
arising out of an incident at Lawrence General Hospital.
Winfield claims Defendant Officer Timothy Dube used excessive
force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to
the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Civil
Rights Act. Dube filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment [#44], arguing that he did not use any
excessive force and asserting the defense of qualified
immunity. Winfield filed a Cross Motion for Summary
Judgment [#48]. For the following reasons, Dube's
motion is ALLOWED and Winfield's motion is DENIED.
judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A dispute is genuine if the
evidence about the fact is such that a reasonable jury could
resolve the point in the favor of the non-moving party. A
fact is material if it has the potential of determining the
outcome of the litigation.” Patco Constr. Co. v.
People's United Bank, 684 F.3d 197, 206-07 (1st Cir.
2012) (internal quotations omitted). A court must view all
properly supported evidence in the light most favorable to
the non-movant and draw all reasonable inferences in the
non-movant's favor. Griggs-Ryan v. Smith, 904
F.2d 112, 115 (1st Cir. 1990). Nonetheless, a court must
“disregard conclusory allegations, improbable
inferences, and unsupported speculation in determining
whether a genuine factual dispute exists.”
Cherkaoui v. City of Quincy, 877 F.3d 14, 23 (1st
Cir. 2017) (internal quotations omitted).
15, 2016, Marie Winfield was released from Holy Family
Hospital after receiving treatment for sciatica. Pl.'s
Stmt. of Mat'l Facts (“Pl.'s SOF”) ¶
1 [#49]. Winfield made her way to Lawrence General Hospital
where she hoped to reach her doctor. Id. Winfield
had been attempting to contact her doctor to determine
whether she could take a new medicine she had been
prescribed, but had been unsuccessful at connecting with him.
Id. ¶ 2; Def.'s Ex. B (Winfield Dep.)
18:11-16 [#46-2]. The doctor had left multiple voicemail
messages on Winfield's phone attempting to contact
Winfield, id. at 18:15-18, and indicated that he was
calling from the Lawrence General Hospital emergency room,
id. at 19:1-2. Winfield did not, however, have an
appointment to see him or anyone else at Lawrence General
Hospital. Id. at 15:10-12.
entry to Lawrence General Hospital contains two sets of
automatic glass sliding doors. Visitors first walk through a
set of exterior automatic glass sliding doors into a
rectangular entryway, and then proceed through a set of
interior automatic glass sliding doors into the lobby.
entered the lobby of Lawrence General Hospital, advanced to
the receptionist's desk, and asked the receptionist for
assistance locating her doctor. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 3 [#49];
Def's. Stmt. of Mat'l Facts (“Def.'s
SOF”) ¶ 4 [#46]. Winfield wrote her doctor's
name on a piece of paper and handed this paper to the
receptionist. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 3 [#49]. The receptionist
made several calls to various hospital departments in an
unsuccessful attempt to locate Winfield's doctor.
Id. ¶ 4. Sometime thereafter, the receptionist
called hospital security. Id.; Def.'s SOF ¶
General Hospital security guard Michael Fornesi responded.
Def.'s SOF ¶ 6 [#46]. Fornesi recognized Winfield
because she had a lawsuit pending against Fornesi and
Lawrence General Hospital. Def.'s Ex. E (Fornesi Dep.)
15:20-21 [#46-5]. After seeing Winfield, he called for
backup. Id. Lawrence General Hospital security
guards Greg Levesque and Fernando Collazo responded to
Fornesi's call. Def.'s SOF ¶ 7 [#46].
receptionist handed Fornesi the paper with the name of
Winfield's doctor written on it. Def.'s Ex. E
(Fornesi Dep.) 20:18-19 [#46-5]; Pl.'s SOF ¶ 6
[#49]. Fornesi told Winfield that her doctor was not at
Lawrence General Hospital. Def.'s Ex. B (Winfield Dep.)
24:15-17, 30:4-7 [#46-2]. Winfield did not leave.
Id. at 26:23. Fornesi used his radio to contact
dispatch to request the assistance of the Lawrence Police
Department. Def.'s SOF ¶ 11 [#46]. Fornesi said,
“Dispatch, get me Lawrence Police to the main lobby. I
have a visitor refusing to leave.” Def.'s Ex. E
(Fornesi Dep.) 23:10-11 [#46-5]. Winfield did not see or hear
Fornesi make this call, and did not yet know the police had
been called. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 8 [#49].
approached Levesque and asked whether security was waiting
for an answer from their office as to whether Winfield's
doctor was available. Id. Levesque told Winfield
that the police had been called and were on their way to
Lawrence General Hospital. Id. Winfield asked why
the police were called, but Levesque did not answer.
Id. Winfield then approached Collazo and asked why
the police had been called. Id. Collazo also did not
Lawrence Police Officers Timothy Dube and Preston Carmichael
arrived, Fornesi briefed them outside the hospital.
Def.'s Ex. I (Carmichael Aff.) ¶ 10 [#46-9]. Fornesi
asked the officers to assist in escorting Winfield out of the
hospital. Id. ¶ 6. He told the officers that
Winfield was looking for a doctor who was not working and was
therefore unavailable, that this information had been relayed
to Winfield, that Winfield had been asked to leave, that
Winfield was creating a disturbance at the service desk, and
that Winfield was not in need of any medical services.
Id. ¶¶ 7-9; see also Def.'s
Ex. E (Fornesi Dep.) 26:25-27:2 [#46-5]. Fornesi told them
Winfield had “refused to leave.” Id.
Fornesi said that he had had prior dealings with Winfield,
who was suing him. Id. ¶ 7; Def.'s Ex. L
(Police Incident Report) 1 [#46-12]. Winfield did not
overhear this discussion, and “has no first-hand
knowledge of what Fornesi told the police officers
outside.” Pl.'s Resps. to Def.'s SOF
(hereinafter “Pl.'s SOF Resps.”) ¶ 14
Fornesi briefed the officers, Fornesi, Dube, and Carmichael
entered the hospital lobby. Def.'s SOF ¶ 15;
Def.'s Ex. B (Winfield Dep.) 31:5-11 [#46-2]. Dube asked
Winfield to leave Lawrence General Hospital. Def.'s Ex. F
(Levesque Dep.) 23:22-25, 24:5-9 [#46-6]; Def.'s Ex. H
¶ 14 [#46-8]; Def.'s Ex. I (Carmichael Aff.) ¶
12 [#46-9]. Dube and Winfield engaged in a conversation for
several minutes. Winfield showed Dube the paper containing
her doctor's name, and explained that she was at the
hospital to see her doctor. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 9 [#49].
directed Carmichael to pick up Winfield's purse and take
it outside. Def.'s SOF ¶ 18 [#46]; Def.'s Ex. F
(Levesque Dep.) 24:9-11 [#46-6]. Carmichael picked up
Winfield's purse and exited through the interior
automatic sliding glass doors into the hospital entryway.
Def.'s SOF ¶ 19 [#46]. When in the hospital
entryway, Carmichael turned around and remained a few feet
from the the exterior side of the interior automatic sliding
glass doors. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 10.
parties dispute what happened next, but both have submitted
what appears to be video footage of the events involving
Winfield occurring at Lawrence General Hospital on May 15,
2016. This video footage comes from two different camera
angles. The “Entryway Video” appears to show the
interior automatic sliding glass doors that form the entrance
to the hospital lobby. The “Interior Video” shows
a portion of the area inside the hospital, including the
internal side of the interior automatic sliding glass doors,
and in the distance, the receptionist's
desk. Although Winfield contends that there are
unexplained gaps in the Interior Video footage, she
nonetheless relies on the two videos. The Entryway Video shows the
force used by the officers during what Winfield describes as
“[t]he beginning of the Defendant's assault on the
Plaintiff.” Pl.'s SOF ¶ 13
walked toward the interior automatic sliding glass doors,
causing the doors to open. Entryway Video 5:54:32 PM
[#46-11]. Carmichael waved his hand to signal to Winfield to
walk faster. Pl.'s SOF ¶ 10 [#49]. Winfield stopped
and stood a few feet on the interior side of the interior
automatic sliding glass doors, waving the piece of paper with
her doctor's name on it. Entryway Video 5:54:47 PM
[#46-11]. The doors closed again. Id. Winfield
asserts that she stopped because Dube began pushing her
before she reached the automatic sliding glass door.
Pl.'s Resps. to Def.'s SOF ¶ 20 [#50]. However,
the Entryway Video shows that both of Winfield's arms
were still free at this time. Entryway Video 5:54:32-5:54:47
PM [#46-11]. A male visitor entered the entryway and walked
up to the interior automatic glass sliding doors.
Id. at 5:54:41 PM. Upon seeing Winfield standing
just inside the interior automatic glass sliding doors,
however, that visitor stepped to the side. Id. at
5:54:47 PM. Winfield took two steps ...