422 F.3d 836 (9th Cir. 2005), 04-15466, Agster v. Maricopa County

Docket Nº:04-15466.
Citation:422 F.3d 836
Party Name:Carol Ann AGSTER, personal representative of the Estate of Charles J. Agster, III, deceased, and as surviving parent of Charles J. Agster, III; Charles J. Agster, Jr., surviving parent of Charles J. Agster, III, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. MARICOPA COUNTY, a public entity; Maricopa County Correctional Health Services, a division of Maricopa County, De
Case Date:August 29, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 836

422 F.3d 836 (9th Cir. 2005)

Carol Ann AGSTER, personal representative of the Estate of Charles J. Agster, III, deceased, and as surviving parent of Charles J. Agster, III; Charles J. Agster, Jr., surviving parent of Charles J. Agster, III, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

MARICOPA COUNTY, a public entity; Maricopa County Correctional Health Services, a division of Maricopa County, Defendants-Appellants,

and

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, a division of Maricopa County; Joseph M. Arpaio, Sheriff; Betty J. Lewis; John Doe Lewis, husband; Baruch A. Reusch; Jane Doe Reusch, wife; Leah R. Compton; John Doe Compton, husband; Kristine Kemper; James E. Crouch, husband, aka John Doe Kemper; Amanda S. Garrison; John Doe Garrison, husband; Susan E. Fisher; John Doe Fisher, husband; Eric Nulph; Jane Doe Nulph, wife; Katherina Brokschmidt; Charles Brokschmidt, husband, aka John Doe Brokschmidt; Michael C. Wilkins; Kathleen Wilkins, wife, aka Jane Doe Wilkins; Laura Sodeman; John Doe Sodeman, husband, Defendants.

No. 04-15466.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Aug. 29, 2005

Argued and Submitted March 16, 2005.

Page 837

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, James A. Teilborg, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-02-01686-JAT.

Michael D. Wolver, Phoenix, Arizona, for the defendants-appellants.

Sean B. Berberian, Phoenix, Arizona, for the plaintiffs-appellees.

Before NOONAN, THOMAS, and FISHER, Circuit Judges.

NOONAN, Circuit Judge.

The parents and the representative of the estate of Charles J. Agster III (Agster) brought this action against individuals and Maricopa County and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (collectively, the County) for the death of Agster while in the custody of the County. In this interlocutory appeal, the County challenges the order of the district court compelling production of the mortality review conducted by Correctional Health Services. We hold that we have jurisdiction to consider the County's claim of privilege, and we hold that federal law recognizes no privilege of peer review in the context of a case involving the death of a prisoner.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

On August 6, 2001, Agster was arrested and taken to the county jail where he was placed in a restraint chair. His respiration decreased, and he developed an irregular heartbeat. Attempts were made to resuscitate him. He was ultimately transported to a hospital where he was placed on life support. On August 9...

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