Woods v. Wills, 1:03-CV-105 CAS.

Decision Date18 November 2005
Docket NumberNo. 1:03-CV-105 CAS.,1:03-CV-105 CAS.
Citation400 F.Supp.2d 1145
PartiesJamie Kaufmann WOODS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Bob WILLS, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri

Oscar Stilley, Fort Smith, AR, for Plaintiffs.

John L. Oliver, Jr., Oliver and Oliver, Cape Girardeau, MO, John D. Briggs, Steven H. Schwartz, Brown and James, P.C., St. Louis, MO, for Defendants.


SHAW, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on two motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants. Plaintiffs oppose the motions. For the following reasons, the Court will grant in part and deny in part defendants' motion for summary judgment as to plaintiffs Jamie Kaufmann Woods, Shari Lueken, Erika Teasley, Tracey Brazil Ozuna and Jessica Deboi (collectively referred to as the "Student plaintiffs"). The Court will grant defendants' motion for summary judgment as to plaintiffs Ralph Lueken, Marilyn Lueken, Paul Douglas Hoover, Jr., and Katrina Hoover (collectively referred to as the "Parent plaintiffs").


The plaintiffs in this action assert various federal and state law claims against the defendants arising from the Student plaintiffs' enrollment at the Mountain Park Baptist Boarding Academy ("Mountain Park"), a boarding school operated by the defendants. The plaintiffs are Jamie Kaufmann Woods, Shari Lueken (a minor), Ralph Lueken and Marilyn Lueken (Shari's parents), Erika Teasley (a minor), Katrina L. Hoover (Erika Teasley's mother) and Paul Douglas Hoover, Jr. (Katrina Hoover's husband), Tracey Brazil Ozuna, and Jessica Deboi. Plaintiffs' twenty-count complaint asserts federal claims for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state law claims of assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, negligence in providing medical treatment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conversion, and fraud. The defendants are Bob Wills, Betty Sue Wills, Sam Gerhardt, Deborah Gerhardt, Julie Gerhardt, Sharon Goodman and Andrea Hill, all alleged to be doing business as Mountain Park Boarding Academy. The defendants filed a counterclaim against the Hoovers and the Lueken parents for indemnification. The counterclaim is not at issue on the summary judgment motions.

One of the primary assertions made by the plaintiffs is that the defendants surreptitiously administered to the Student plaintiffs antipsychotic, psychotropic or behavior modification drugs while they were at Mountain Park. Plaintiffs assert that they were administered the prescription medications chlorpromazine (trade name Thorazine), carbamazepine (trade name Tegretol), and/or thioridazine (trade name Mellaril).

Legal Standard.

The standards applicable to summary judgment motions are well settled. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information before the court shows "there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).

The initial burden is placed on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir.1988) (the moving party has the burden of clearly establishing the nonexistence of any genuine issue of fact that is material to a judgment in its favor). Once this burden is discharged, if the record shows that no genuine dispute exists, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party who must set forth affirmative evidence and specific facts showing there is a genuine dispute on a material factual issue. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).

Once the burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations in its pleadings, but by affidavit and other evidence must set forth specific facts showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co., 207 F.3d 1026, 1029 (8th Cir.2000); Allen v. Entergy Corp., 181 F.3d 902, 904 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1063, 120 S.Ct. 618, 145 L.Ed.2d 512 (1999). The non-moving party "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" only "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Herring, 207 F.3d at 1029 (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)).

A party resisting summary judgment has the burden to designate the specific facts that create a triable question of fact. See Crossley v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 355 F.3d 1112, 1114 (8th Cir.2004). The Court is "not required to speculate on which portion of the record the nonmoving party relies, nor is it obligated to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim.'" Barge v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 87 F.3d 256, 260 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting White v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., 904 F.2d 456, 458 (8th Cir.1990)). "Self-serving, conclusory statements without support are not sufficient to defeat summary judgment." Armour and Co., Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2 F.3d 276, 279 (8th Cir.1993).

With this standard in mind, the Court accepts the following facts as true for purposes of resolving the instant motions for summary judgment.


As a threshold matter, the Court must address plaintiffs' failure to comply fully with Local Rule 4.01(E), and the effect of that failure. Local Rule 4.01(E) provides with respect to summary judgment motions:

A memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment shall have attached a statement of uncontroverted material facts, set forth in a separately numbered paragraph for each fact, indicating whether each fact is established by the record, and, if so, the appropriate citations. Every memorandum in opposition shall include a statement of material facts as to which the party contends a genuine dispute exists. Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with specific references to portions of the record, where available, upon which the opposing party relies. The opposing party also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph number from movant's listing of facts. All matters set forth in the statement of the movant shall be deemed admitted for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the opposing party.

E.D. Mo. L.R. 4.01(E).

Plaintiffs responded to defendants' statements of uncontroverted material facts by filing a document containing numbered paragraphs in which plaintiffs admitted or denied each statement of material fact, often providing affirmative statements in support of the denials. Plaintiffs did not, however, include in their responses "specific references to portions of the record, where available, upon which the opposing party relies." E.D. Mo. L.R. 4.01(E). Instead, plaintiffs submitted their own statement of additional material facts which incorporated by reference certain documents and declarations executed by seven of the plaintiffs.

As a result, plaintiffs have deemed admitted defendants' statements of material fact except to the extent that their affidavits serve to raise a genuine issue of material fact. The Court will therefore repeat defendants' statements of material fact largely verbatim, and will note whenever plaintiffs properly dispute a fact and the ground for their dispute. Cf. Northwest Bank & Trust Co. v. First Ill. Nat'l Bank, 354 F.3d 721, 725 (8th Cir.2003) (holding district court did not abuse its discretion by applying local rules that excluded some of the material facts offered in opposition to a motion for summary judgment); Huckins v. Hollingsworth, 138 Fed.Appx. 860, 862 (8th Cir.2005) (unpublished per curiam) (where plaintiffs responded to the defendants' statements of material facts by paragraph number as required by local rule but did not fully comply with that rule by submitting their own concise statement of material facts as to which they contended there exists a genuine issue to be tried, and instead provided the district court with affidavits, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it recounted the defendants' statements of facts verbatim but noted whenever the plaintiffs properly disputed a fact and the ground for their dispute).1

Facts Relating to Student Plaintiffs' Claims.

1. Mountain Park Baptist Church ("Mountain Park") is an independent Baptist church established by defendants Pastor Bob Wills and his wife, Betty Sue Wills, in 1987.

2. The sole ministry of Mountain Park was to serve teens through the operation of a boarding academy that provided a secure, structured Christian environment.

3. The twin missions of Mountain Park, through the defendants, including Bob Bills, Betty Wills, Sam Gerhardt, Debbie Gerhardt, Julie Gerhardt, Sharon Goodman and Andrea Hill, were to (a) provide a secure environment to nurture Christian values of respect for authority, Biblical self-image, and self-discipline, and (b) foster academic development.

4. Defendants' religious beliefs and practices were incorporated into the educational curriculum, policies and practices at Mountain Park. In addition, defendants regularly conducted group Bible study services and had church services several days per week.

5. To develop the social skills and self-discipline of each student, Mountain Park and its employees established and maintained tiers of student status and achievement.

6. The orientation program fosters self-discipline and responsibility, as well as leadership skills that were...

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