A woman filed yesterday a $1.2 million lawsuit in federal court against the CNMI government and other co-defendants over her alleged forced removal from her house on Rota by a police officer and other persons and her detention in the psychiatric ward of the Commonwealth Health Center on Saipan.
Kaye Christian filed the lawsuit through Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. counsels Jeanne H. Rayphand and Matthew Holley.
Aside from the CNMI government, Christian named as co-defendants the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., police officer Eusebio Manglona, Dr. Francois Claassens, CHC chief executive officer Esther L. Muña, Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero, and 10 unnamed co-defendants.
Christian is demanding $200,000 in compensatory damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, and $1 million in punitive damages.
Christian also seeks a court order directing the CNMI government, CHC, Muña, and Deleon Guerrero to implement procedures to prevent the use of excessive force by police officers and health care personnel.
She asked the court to issue an order directing the CNMI government, CHC, Muña, and Deleon Guerrero to educate and train police officers and health care personnel about the Involuntary Commitment Act, the Patient’s Rights Act, and conflict management and restraint procedures.
Christian wants the court to declare that the defendants violated her rights under the Patient’s Rights Act.
She said such rights are free of chemical and physical restraint, ready access to a telephone, and a copy of all of the rights to which she was entitled during her stay at the Rota Health Center and at CHC on Saipan.
Rayphand and Holley stated in the complaint that police officer Manglona and 10 unnamed persons entered Christian’s house without her consent on Dec. 31, 2013, at 1pm.
Without any provocation, Manglona allegedly grabbed Christian’s arm, twisted her arm behind her, carried her down the stairs, and handcuffed her.
Manglona then allegedly handcuffed Christian to a stretcher and brought her against her will to the Rota Health Clinic.
At the clinic, Christian was allegedly handcuffed to a bed and Claassens then injected her with medicines and chemically restrained her against her will.
On Jan. 1, 2014, Christian was brought to Saipan where she was allegedly involuntarily committed to the psychiatric ward at CHC. Rayphand and Holley said that Christian was released from the ward on Jan. 3, 2014.
At CHC, Christian was allegedly denied her right to use a telephone.
By Ferdie De La Torre