A federal claim for deliberate indifference is unlike a state law claim for negligence. The distinction is one of great importance because the standard is much higher in a deliberate indifference claim. A claim for deliberate indifference has three components: (1) subjective knowledge of a risk of serious harm; (2) disregard of that risk; and (3) by conduct that is more mere negligence. This is a claim that is very difficult for a plaintiff to prevail on and often leads to the granting of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in these types of cases.
However, the preparation of your case varies if the allegations are against an officer or employee in his or her individual capacity versus an agency or agency head in his or her official capacity. There are also various defenses that must be asserted at the onset of a case and affect how the case is defended. Hence, it is important when choosing counsel to represent you, your company, your employees or agency that you have an attorney who understands not only the current case law, issues and defenses, but also who knows what will be needed to obtain a successful result for you. Andrews, Crabtree, Knox & Andrews, LLP has attorneys who routinely handle these types of claims and obtain summary judgment in their client’s favor.