City of Leawood and two cops dropped from trial alleging excessive force

The city of Leawood and two of its police officers have been removed from a lawsuit that alleged police used excessive force against a woman seeking treatment at a local hospital.

Muriel Martin, 76, of Kansas City, filed a federal lawsuit May 19 in U.S. District Court in Kansas. An amended complaint now names Saint Luke’s Health System as the sole defendant.

In May 2021, Martin checked into the emergency room at Saint Luke Community Hospital in Leawood at 13200 State Line Road. She had “excruciating pain” in her abdomen causing cramping, nausea and vomiting, according to the lawsuit.

Martin has an implanted port that delivers drugs. Nurses did not have the correct needles to access the port, so a doctor attempted to insert an IV into his jugular vein, the lawsuit said, causing extreme pain.

She “pleaded for an alternative method”, to which the doctor reportedly said, “Obviously you don’t want to be here, why don’t you leave?”

Martin said she wanted to be fixed.

Shortly after, officers from the Leawood Police Department entered her room and escorted her out of the hospital in a wheelchair. Allegations against the officers accusing them of excessive force and discrimination were dropped from the trial after Martin’s attorneys reviewed body camera footage, police department spokesman Capt. Brad Robbins said.

“The lawsuit in its original form included false and prejudicial statements about the Leawood Police Department and its employees,” Chief Dale Finger said. “We immediately responded to these false claims with compelling evidence to the contrary.”

The lawsuit lists four counts against Saint Luke’s, including racial discrimination and violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. It also indicates that Martin suffered from implicit prejudice against African Americans and unequal treatment “attributed to persistent racist cultural beliefs and practices”.

Saint Luke’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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