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Perkins v. University of Kansas Medical Center

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 7, 2014

Diane E. Perkins, daughter and next friend of George H. Perkins, Plaintiff,
University of Kansas Medical Center, et al., Defendants.


J. THOMAS MARTEN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Diane Perkins has brought the present pro se action alleging various "HATE CRIMES" against her late father, George Perkins. (Dkt. 1, at 4). Perkins, a resident of Missouri, has sued the University of Kansas Medical Center ("KU Med Center"), the University of Kansas Board of Regents, the University of Kansas Hospital Authority, Kansas University Physicians, Inc, as well as six physicians and two agencies of the State of Missouri. All of the defendants have moved to dismiss the action.

The Complaint alleges that the 91-year-old Mr. Perkins was transferred from a Veterans Administration hospital to KU Med Center on October 12, 2006, suffering from a subdural hematoma. According to the Complaint, her father was then alert and stable. At KU Med Center, he agreed to "definitive neurological examination and possible intervention."

At some point, George Perkins underwent "not 1 (one) but 2 (two) brain surgeries." Id. at 11. However, the Complaint alleges that the KU Med Staff failed to prescribe an MRI which would have found "my father's newly acquired condition... carotic arteries." Id.

On October 19, 2006, George Perkins suffered a stroke. He was intubated and attached to a breathing device. The medical staff placed Perkins in "soft limb restraints" when he resisted the procedure. The Complaint alleges that "the medical staff chose, against my father's own will, and against the will of my father's family, his children, to issue palliative care order to Illegally Euthanize/Kill Him/End His Life.'" Id. at 12 (emphasis in Complaint). The Complaint alleges that the KU Med Center staff secretly denied George Perkins of any water "turned into gross mistreatment, a HATE CRIME." Id. at 13. Perkins asks "[h]ow could this [the use of a breathing machine] be, when my father was communicating verbally" after his earlier surgeries. Id.

According to Perkins, " casket reviewal pictures ... clearly show my father had been physically assaulted" while at KU Med Center. Id. at 9 (emphasis by Perkins). She alleges that KU Med Center delivered the body to a funeral home against the wishes of the family. At the family's insistance, the body was returned to the KU Med Center for an autopsy.

Perkins alleges that Dr. Christopher Meredith failed to discover her father's "carotid arteries, which was the proximate cause of the catastrophic injury, stroke that may father suffered." Id. at 5. The Complaint states that Dr. Meredith's "actions, inactions and medical orders" demonstrate his "intent to do physical and mental harm to my father." Id.

Next, the Complaint states that Dr. Joshua Anderson, Dr. Norman Martin, and Dr. Sarah Ann Taylor intentionally sought to harm her father through unspecified "actions, inactions and medical orders." Id. at 5-7.

Perkins identifies Dr. Katie Dennis as the physician who performed the autopsy on her father, and Dr. Maria Romanas as the attending pathologist. Perkins again refers to unspecified "actions, inactions and medical orders" showing an intent to injure her father. In addition, the Complaint states that Dr. Dennis and Dr.Romanas were "heartless" in failing to properly prepare the body following the autopsy, even though they were "well aware that my father's family intended to have an open casket funeral." Id. at 6-7.

Perkins has also sued the the Missouri Department of Health & Human Services, and the Missouri Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit, alleging that these agencies had the duty to investigate "adult abuse, negligence on the part of the funeral home, and other abuses, including abuses of a corpse, and hate crimes, but failed to do so." Id. at 7.

In her Complaint, Perkins advances claims against the defendants for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 249, which defines certain hate crimes; 18 U.S.C. § 241, a criminal statute governing conspiracies against civil rights; 18 U.S.C. § 242, a criminal statute applicable to deprivations under color of law; and 28 U.S.C. § 1343, which authorizes district court jurisdiction over civil rights claims advanced under 42 U.S.C. § 1985. In addition, the Complaint asserts supplemental jurisdiction to hear claims under Missouri Constitution and State of Missouri laws against false imprisonment.

Conclusions of Law

The Missouri defendants have moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the alleged, and purely conclusory, failure to investigate does not implicate any federal right, citing Garner v. Stephan, 968 F.2d 19 (D. Kan. 1992). Second, Perkins has failed to alleged any of the elements of a conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985. See Busey v. Board of County Com'rs of County of Shawnee, 277 F.Supp.2d 1095, 1112 (D. Kan. 2003). Third, the claim should be dismissed as it is beyond the statute of limitations. See Johnson v. Johnson Cnty. Comm'n Bd., 925 F.2d 1299, 1301 (10th Cir. 1991) (applying the two-year limitations period of K.S.A. 60-513 to federal § 1983 action). Finally, the defendants argue, the court is without jurisdiction to consider any diversity claims against it, since the plaintiff is also a citizen of Missouri.

The University of Kansas Hospital Authority moved to dismiss the case based on the lack of complete diversity, Eleventh Amendment immunity, a lack of standing, the failure to assert any specific basis for ...

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