Collins v. City of Harker Heights 503 U.S. 115 (1992)

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Larry Collins, a city employee, died of asphyxia after entering a manhole to unstop a sewer line. His widow sued under section 1983, title 42, united states code, alleging that municipalities must train and warn their employees about known workplace hazards. She claimed that the city's inadequate training, warning, and supplying of safety equipment violated the fourteenth amendment guarantee of due process of law. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice john paul stevens, rejected the claim. The Court viewed the claim as being analogous "to a fairly typical state-law tort claim" based on a breach of duty of care. It distinguished cases involving due process claims by those deprived of their liberty, such as prisoners. The holding extended a line of cases, beginning with paul v. davis (1976), in which the Court has refused to find constitutional violations for what it regards as merely tortious misbehavior.

Theodore Eisenberg

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Collins v. City of Harker Heights 503 U.S. 115 (1992)

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