TX8: Hospital can’t be sued under § 1983 for medical negligence and battery in conducting intensive body, pelvic, and rectal searches for CBP that produced nothing at all

Plaintiff, an El Paso resident, was stopped at the border coming into El Paso from visiting a friend and subjected to several searches for drugs, including taking her to the appellant hospital for x-rays and a pelvic exam. Nothing was found and she was released. She sued the hospital for medical negligence in the guise of a § 1983 action. Texas law doesn’t permit it. Even the assault and battery claims fail. Texas Tech Univ. Health Scis. Center-El Paso v. Bustillos, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 4259 (Tex. App. – El Paso June 13, 2018).* The whole thing she was subjected to was, frankly, ridiculous and the pelvic and rectal searches were completely unnecessary and unreasonable:

Bustillos alleged she was returning to El Paso after visiting a friend in Juarez, Mexico, when agents detained her at the border because they suspected she was carrying illegal drugs. They conducted a pat down search but found no drugs and conducted a canine search, but the dog failed to alert to the presence of drugs. The agents then had Bustillos pull down her pants and underwear and conducted a non-invasive visual search of her vaginal and anal areas, but again found no drugs. They handcuffed and transported her to University Medical Center of El Paso where two TTUHSC physicians, Dr. Parsa and Dr. Solomin, ordered a series of x-rays to search her body, subjecting and exposing her to unnecessary radiation. The x-rays did not reveal the presence of drugs. The physicians then conducted an invasive pelvic and rectal exam, both of which failed to reveal any drugs. The doctors eventually released Bustillos to the agents who transported her back to the border and released her. She alleged that the searches humiliated and traumatized her physically and emotionally and that she incurred medical expenses for the unnecessary rectal and pelvic exams.

This entry was posted in § 1983 / Bivens, Body searches, Border search. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.