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Oren Ungerleider dismissal

Oren Ungerleider dismissal

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Judge Katherine Forrest dismissed former student Oren Ungerleider's lawsuit against Columbia and Continuum Health Partners, the owner of St. Luke's Hospital.
Judge Katherine Forrest dismissed former student Oren Ungerleider's lawsuit against Columbia and Continuum Health Partners, the owner of St. Luke's Hospital.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Columbia Daily Spectator on Aug 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/15/2013

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------}C
OREN
UNGERLEIDER,Plaintiff, 13 Civ. 410 (KBF)
-v-
ORDERCONTINUUM HEALTH PARTNERS, INC.,
et
al.Defendants,
----------------------------------------------------------------------
}C
KATHERINE
B.
FORREST, District
Judge:
Plaintiff Oren
Ungerleiderbrought
this
action
on
January
17, 2013,
in
connection
with
hisinvoluntary
confinement
at
St. Luke's Hospital.
In
his
amended
complaint,
he
alleges
that
Continuum
HealthPartners,
Inc., St. Luke's Hospital,
and
Drs.
Clemens
Heiderhoff,
Karin
Dorell,
Tara
Malekshahi,
and
HowardMillman
violated his federal
constitutional
(and
related
state)
rights
by
administering
medication to
him
against
his
will
and
by directing
his involuntary commitment
in
both instances, without
a lawful
basis
for doing so.
On May
10, 2013,
defendants
moved to dismiss
plaintiffsamended
complaint. For
thereasons
set
forth below,
that
motion is GRANTED.
BACKGROUND
The following facts
are
taken
from
the
amended
complaint, which
the
Court
accepts
as
true
for
purposes of this
motion:
1 
Case 1:13-cv-00410-KBF Document 33 Filed 06/21/13 Page 1 of 7
 
When
the
events
giving rise to
this
action occurred,
Ungerleider
was
a
student
at
Columbia University. (Am. CompI. ,
2,
ECF
No. 26.)
On
December
20,2010,
he
went
to
his
Spanish
class to
take
a final exam. (Id.
~r
19.) Before
the examstarted,
his
teacher
gave
him
"50/100,
F"
on his
final project along
with
a note
disparaginghis
Spanish
ability. (ld.)
Ungerleider
"called
her
a bitch,
sat
down,
waited
five
minutes,
and
when the
teacher
handed
him
a copy
of
the
final
exam,
he
handed
it
right
back
and
left
the
room."
(Id.,
20.)
Thenext
day,
he
met with
an
assistant
to
the dean
at
Columbia who
told
Ungerleider
that
she
wanted
him
to seea
psychiatrist.
(Id.
~r
22.)
At
12:30 a.m.
on
December
22,2010,
Stephanie
Nixon, Columbia's
Director
of
ResidentialPrograms,
knocked on
Ungerleider's
door. (Id.
~r
23.)
After
a
vaguely
confrontationalinteraction betweenUngerleider
and
Nixon (id. " 23·24),
three
New York City Police
Department
officers
"arrived
at
[Ungerleider's] dorm,
handcuffed
him,
escorted
him
into
an
ambulance,
and
drove
him
to
St.
Luke's." (Id.
,25.)
Plaintiff arrived
at
St. Luke's
at
around
1:00 a.m.
that
night.
(Id.
~r
26.)Once
there, Ungerleider
was
taken
to a room
where
a
psychiatrist asked
questions
that
Ungerleider
found to be
impertinent.
(Id.) He
refused
to
answer
the
questionsand,
when
asked
to
stay
at
the
hospital
over night,
refused
again.
(ldJ
To
prevent
Ungerleider
from leaving,
three
doctors "came over,
tackled
[him],
and
forcefully
injected
him
with
...
HaldoL"
(Id.,
27.)
Thedrug caused him
to fall
asleep
(id. ,28),
and the
next morning
Drs.
Heiderhoff
and
Dorell
examined Ungerleider
and
2 
Case 1:13-cv-00410-KBF Document 33 Filed 06/21/13 Page 2 of 7
 
signed
certifications for
his
involuntary commitment
G.!:L.
1r~
29-30).
On
December
23,2010,
Dr.
Malekshahi
met with
Ungerleider
and,
despite
his "cooperative,
pleasant,
and
calm" demeanor, found
that
involuntary commitment
and
anti-
psychotic
medication were
appropriate
in
light of
Drs.
Heiderhoff
and
Dorell'scertifications
as
well
as
her
own
observation
of
Ungerleider's
"grandiose
andparanoid
delusions"
and
his
"illogical
and
at
times incoherent
thought
process." (Id.
~
32.) Dr.
Millman
signed
Malekshahi's report
and,
on
numerous
occasions,"supported"
Ungerleider's
continued involuntary commitment.
(Id.
~~
32-35.)
On
January
4,2011, plaintiff requested
a
court
hearing
to challenge
hishospitalization,
and
on
January
6,2011,
a
hearing
washeld
at
which
Dr.
Millman
argued
for
plaintiffs
continued
confinement. (Id.
~~
34-35.)
The court ruled
that
St.
Luke's
could
continue
to hold
Ungerleiderinvoluntarily.
(Id.
~
35.)
Ungerleiderwas ultimately released
on
January
21, 2011 -
nearly
thirty
days
after
his initial
confinement. (Id.
~
33.)
STANDARD ON MOTION
TO
DISMISS
On
a motion to dismiss,
the Court
accepts
as true
all
well-pleaded
factual
allegations. See Ashcroft
v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To avoid dismissal,
"a
complaint
must
contain
sufficient
factual
matter,
accepted
as true,
to
'state
a claimto
relief
that
is
plausible on
its
face.'" Id. (quoting Bell
Atlantic
Corp.
v.
Twombly. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007».
"Threadbare
recitals of
the
elements
of
a
causeof
action,
supported
by mere
conclusory
statements,
do
not
suffice." Id.
3 
Case 1:13-cv-00410-KBF Document 33 Filed 06/21/13 Page 3 of 7

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