Thomas J. Ingrassia, Plaintiff- Appellee
Keith Schafer, Director, Missouri Department of Mental Health, In His Official Capacity; Felix Vincenz, Chief Operating Officer, Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health, In His Official Capacity; Julie Inman, Regional Executive Officer, Missouri Department of Mental Health, In Her Official Capacity, Defendants Carol Dicknette, Office of Consumer Safety, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Defendant-Appellant Leigh Gibson, Office of Consumer Safety, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Defendant Jay Englehart, Psychiatrist/Physician, Medical Director, SORTS, In His Official and Individual Capacity; Alan Blake, Chief Operating Officer, SORTS, In His Official and Individual Capacity; Beth Weinkein, Dietician II, SORTS, In Her Official and Individual Capacity, Defendants-Appellants Brenda Swift, Facility Grievance Coordinator, SORTS, In Her Official and Individual Capacity; Bob Wills, Chief Nursing Executive, SORTS; Joe Easter, RN 5, SORTS, Defendants Marybeth Rowe, RN 5, SORTS, Defendant-Appellant Kevin Fletcher, Risk Management Committee; Kristina Bender, Unit Program Supervisor, SORTS; John Does, Members of Risk Management Committee, Executive Committee, Resident's Rights Review Committee, SORTS, Defendants
Submitted: January 12, 2016
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - St. Louis
MURPHY, SMITH, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, Circuit Judge.
J. Ingrassia, a civilly-committed individual, sued Carol A.
Dickneite, Jay W. Englehart, Alan W. Blake, Beth Weinkein and
Mary Beth Rowe, alleging a violation of his constitutional
right to adequate nutrition under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
district court denied defendants qualified immunity. They
appeal. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this
court affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands.
was civilly committed to the Missouri Sexual Offender
Rehabilitation and Treatment Services (SORTS) facility. In
2001, he escaped. Apprehended in 2003, he was convicted of
property damage related to the escape. After serving a prison
sentence, Ingrassia returned to SORTS in August 2008. He then
weighed 150 pounds, although he alleges this was lower than
normal due to recent back surgery.
to SORTS, Ingrassia was placed on Total Ward Restriction
(TWR), which included not eating in the dining room. Based on
his height, weight, and age, SORTS determined he required a
2000-calorie per day diet. The TWR lasted until March 15,
2009, when he began eating in the dining room. By May 27,
Ingrassia weighed 163 pounds.
SORTS policies, if a patient refuses to attend meals in the
dining room or to comply with meal procedures, SORTS provides
two 300-calorie meal-replacement drinks or, if medically
necessary, a regular meal tray in the patient's room. On
July 12, for unknown reasons, Ingrassia received two
meal-replacement shakes instead of a regular meal. In
protest, he microwaved the shakes in a styrofoam cup, put
them on a desk in the nurse's station, and smashed a book
on top of them, spilling them all over the desk.
following day, Rowe, a registered nurse, ordered that
Ingrassia be provided a bag lunch and no drinks until further
notice. Later that day, Blake, the chief operating officer,
discontinued that order, directing that he receive regular
meal trays but no hot liquids. Between July 22, 2009, and
March 4, 2010, an additional order directed no liquids except
water. On September 17, Ingrassia again smashed a
meal-replacement shake in protest. Thereafter, he received
only bag lunches and finger foods.
to Ingrassia, during this period of restrictions, his bag
lunches often lacked key items. Each sack lunch normally had
a sandwich, bag of chips, pack of cookies, and one piece of
fruit. Ingrassia also received a 200-calorie night-snack. He
alleges that, due to the missing items, he sometimes consumed
only 1200 calories per day. In August 2009, shortly after the
food restrictions began, Ingrassia weighed 165 pounds. Three
months later, it was 151 pounds. Throughout the period of
restrictions, Ingrassia made several formal and informal
complaints to defendants. On March 4, 2010, he started
receiving regular meals, ending the dietary restrictions.
sued the defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a
Fourteenth Amendment claim for denial of adequate nutrition.
Defendants moved for summary judgment on the basis of
qualified immunity. The district court denied the motion.
defendants argue that the district court should have granted
them qualified immunity. "[A]n order denying qualified
immunity is immediately appealable even though it is
interlocutory." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372,
376 n.2 (2007). "'A defendant, entitled to invoke a
qualified immunity defense, may not appeal a district
court's summary judgment order insofar as that order
determines whether or not the pretrial record sets forth a
genuine issue of fact for trial'; the appealable issue is
a purely legal one." White v. McKinley, 519
F.3d 806, 812 (8th Cir. 2008), quoting Johnson v.
Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 319-20 (1995).
court reviews de novo the district court's denial of
qualified immunity. Id. at 813. The defendants bear
the burden to establish the relevant facts supporting
qualified immunity, while Ingrassia receives the benefit of
all reasonable inferences. See Wallingford v. Olson,
592 F.3d 888, 892 (8th Cir. 2010). Ingrassia "may not
rest upon the mere allegation or denials of his pleading, but
. . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial, " and "must present
affirmative evidence in order to defeat a properly ...