A federal judge has granted a summary judgment in favor of a Kentucky State Police trooper and a medical insurer in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Richmond man.
The suit alleged that Trooper John Scott Felder, insurer Humana Health Plan Inc. and three of its employees had violated the constitutional rights of Jeffery C. Caudill, a Richmond man who was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly making threats against the Humana employees.
Caudill was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening after Felder’s investigation uncovered alleged bomb threats and threats of physical violence against the Humana employees, according to a copy of the decision in the case.
Felder met with Caudill the day the alleged threats were made at his workplace, which was connected to “Blue Grass Armory, a firm that manufactures, among other items, .50-caliber sniper rifles,” according to the decision.
Caudill was armed with a handgun when Felder met with him, but disarmed himself without incident. Caudill denied making bomb threats, but did admit to arguing with the Humana employees.
When Felder went with other officers to arrest Caudill later in the day at his home, the decision states, Caudill did not immediately disarm himself and Felder drew his service weapon in the course of subduing Caudill and arresting him.
Caudill was thrown to the ground and disarmed as Felder placed him under arrest, the decision states, citing in a footnote that the description of Caudill’s arrest is described “in a light most favorable to the plaintiff” despite Felder having a different account of the incident.
Felder later had the charge amended to third-degree terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor, after determining no bomb threat was made, and the charge was later dismissed in Madison District Court.
In dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman determined that Felder was immune from being sued under the doctrine of “qualified immunity” because his actions were “objectively reasonable” considering the circumstances of Caudill’s arrest.
Coffman also dismissed claims of abuse of process, malicious prosecution, defamation of character, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment filed against Felder and the Humana employees.
The decision states that the evidence in the case fails to demonstrate for each claim “proof of an essential element or shows a defense to liability.”
As a result of the dismissal, a trial scheduled for April in the case has been canceled.