Mr. Lipford, a pretrial detainee in the Detroit Detention Center, died from an overdose. Although a guard saw him lying face down on the floor, the guard did not check on him. Several hours later Mr. Lipford was found unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced head. The administrator of his estate sued for violation of Mr. Lipford’s 14th Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. 


The standard for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs has traditionally been a 2-prong test: (1) objective proof that a serious medical need wasn’t met and (2) proof the actor knew, subjectively, of the need but disregarded it. This 2-prong framework had been used to resolve claims of deliberate indifference raised by prisoners under the 8th amendment as well as to resolve claims by pre-trial detainees under the Due Process clause.  


Our amicus brief was filed on September 21, 2021. Appellee’s brief was filed on October 13. Appellants filed their reply brief on November 4. On January 6, 2022, the Court accepted our amicus brief. Oral argument was scheduled for March 9, 2022. Oral argument was cancelled, and the Court made its decision on the briefs. On March 8, the lower court decision was affirmed. Appellants filed an en banc petition for rehearing on March 21, which was denied on April 6.