Appeals Court Victory for Pembroke: Coscia v. Town of Pembroke

Attorneys Jay Tehan and Kay Doyle have secured an important victory from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Coscia v. Town of Pembroke.  The Court of Appeals reversed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  The Appeals Court ruled that individual Pembroke police officers did not violate a young man’s right to due process under the U.S. Constitution.  The young man had expressed suicidal thoughts while he was in custody following  a single car crash.  The police kept him safe while he was in custody.  The day after he was released from custody, the young man committed suicide.  His family sued, claiming the police should have sough medical attention for him while he was in custody and the failure to do so resulted in his suicide after his release.  The Court determined that the police officers could not be held responsible for actions taken when the young man was no longer in their custody, unless the young man had a special relationship with the police or the police had placed him in a position of greater danger, and therefore did not violate the young man’s right to due process.  The young man’s family has declared an intent to file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.