Heyl Royster


Heyl Royster



Appellate Win at the Seventh Circuit


In Williams v. Ortiz, __ F.3d __ (7th Cir. 2019), appellate practice group lawyer, Mike Schag, briefed and gave oral argument at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in victory for our appellee doctor and nurse clients, who rendered care to a pretrial detainee at the Racine County Jail in Wisconsin. This was the first case argued since the court announced a new standard for measuring the conduct of medical providers in Miranda v. County of Lake, 900 F.3d 355 (7th Cir. 2018). Previously, medical providers were judged under the “deliberate indifference” standard emanating from the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. The new standard applicable in pretrial detainee cases emanates from the Fourteenth Amendment instead. It is the more rigorous “objective unreasonableness” standard. Our medical appellees had won summary judgment at the trial court level under the deliberate indifference standard, but by the time of the appeal, the law had changed. We prevailed under the higher standard. Fellow partner, Doug Heise, provided valuable contributions to theory development during the brief drafting stage. Doug’s experience with prisoner litigation at the trial level afforded useful insight.

Williams v. Ortiz, No. 18-1404, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25639 (7th Cir. Aug. 26, 2019)