Use of catheter following traffic stop in Schererville draws lawsuit
By Teresa Auch-Schultz email@example.com May 13, 2014 5:22PM
Updated: June 15, 2014 6:37AM
A Schererville man claims Schererville police and Franciscan St. Margaret Health staff violated his constitutional rights when they forced a catheter into him in order to determine his blood-alcohol level.
According to a lawsuit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, William B. Clark claims he was driving on U.S. 30 near U.S. 41 on the evening of May 20, 2012, when he was pulled over by two Schererville police officers, Matthew Djukie and Damian Murks.
The officers performed a portable Breathalyzer on him, according to the lawsuit, which they later claimed registered a 0.11 percent blood-alcohol content, above the state limit of 0.08 percent.
They then took him to the hospital in Dyer, where a blood test registered his blood-alcohol level at 0.073 percent.
The police then ordered a urine test, but Clark couldn’t produce one. That’s when the police ordered the hospital to insert the catheter into him to collect the urine and physically restrained him to do so, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit calls the insertion of the catheter “painful, degrading and humiliating” to Clark and also argues that he never gave consent and that police did not have a proper search warrant to force it on him.
The suit says he was arrested on various charges including operating while intoxicated. The criminal case remains ongoing in Schererville Town Court, according to court records.
The two officers plus the town of Schererville and the hospital’s owner, Franciscan Alliance, are named as defendants. Franciscan Alliance has not received the lawsuit yet and cannot comment, spokesman Bill Bero said. A representative for Schererville could not be reached for comment.
Clark is asking for a minimum of $11 million in damages.