New Mexico Man Given Forced Colonoscopy by Cops Wins $1.6 Million Settlement

“This is essentially medical anal rape, numerous times over a 12-hour period,” Kennedy said. “I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than what happened to our client. It’s just sadistic.”

A New Mexico man forced by police to undergo a colonoscopy has quietly settled his legal case against officials from Hidalgo County and Deming, N.M. 

USNews – “KOB-TV reports that David Eckert, 64, will be paid $1.6 million by the local governments – $650,000 from Hidalgo County and $950,000 from the city of Deming – to resolve the case, which was filed in U.S. District Court in November.

Eckert’s lawsuit alleged his Fourth Amendment rights were violated after Deming police pulled him over on Jan. 2, 2013, for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. Hidalgo County authorities arrived on the scene and played a role in justifying a lengthy series of medical procedures.

No drugs were found by police in Eckert’s vehicle or within his body by doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center, who administered two digital anal probes and an X-ray scan, then inserted into Eckert’s anus three enemas and analyzed the resulting stool samples, then performed another X-ray and – ultimately – conducted a colonoscopy with anesthesia.

A judge granted police a search warrant authorizing a probe “up to and including [Eckert’s] anal cavity.” The warrant’s limits allegedly were exceeded by the colonoscopy and it’s unclear why that procedure was necessary after enemas and X-rays did not reveal hidden drugs.

Eckert’s lawsuit further alleged the colonoscopy was performed without consent. His attorney, Shannon Kennedy, told U.S. News in November her client was sent a $6,000 bill by the medical center. Eckert refused to pay the bill…” Full Story on USNews

13 comments on “New Mexico Man Given Forced Colonoscopy by Cops Wins $1.6 Million Settlement

  1. […] speaking to the Nation magazine. “Ohio is taking drugs that are normally used for things like a colonoscopy, and they’re giving massive overdoses to kill people. They’re using them for their toxic side […]

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Did they find any polyps?

    More seriously, who is suspending the licenses of those physicians?

    Why not? Who else do they perform such procedures on, without permission? Do their insurance companies know that?

    Seems to me this guy still has a malpractice case against the people who did the procedures.

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    • Another editorial article in one of our local papers tried to claim that the doctors could not be faulted because they were ‘just doing their jobs’. It seems that technically, the doctors can claim there was no malpractice since the procedures were performed correctly.

      I think performing procedures on non-consenting patients is the ultimate form of malpractice but hey, I’m not a lawyer so what do I know? I’m curious to see if he takes any further action and if he does take the docs to court, I’ll try to post updates.

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      • Ed Darrell says:

        If no consent, and no court order avoiding the need for consent, it is the tort of assault, and in this case, battery.

        Physicians codes in most states don’t allow the performance of medical procedures that require consent, without consent. This is a surgical procedure. Who else do they do what kinds of surgical procedures upon, without proper consent?

        I think it falls into the category of “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct” under New Mexico’s physician ethics rules: http://www.nmmb.state.nm.us/pdffiles/Rules/NMAC16.10.08_MedicalEthicsl.pdf

        There is a court case in which liability has been adjudicated already; if the board isn’t investigating, it’s not doing its job. I don’t see anything at the website for the state board that says complaints must come from any particular party — probably anyone in New Mexico could file a complaint.

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        • Interesting information and very good to know. I’m trying to go back through my links on this story – I swore that in one of the original articles it said that initially a doctor refused to perform the exam…If that is true, I imagine it would really hurt any defense of the docs that did the exams.

          All legal issues aside, I’m left wondering why it is that folks who are smart enough to get a medical degree are so lacking in common sense as to think they were right for violating this man? What did they think the cops were going to do if they refused? Arrest them? It’s no secret that the standard is being lowered on exams for police officers…is the same true of the medical field?

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  3. ephraiyim says:

    Read this a few weeks ago. These deputies in this particular county have been doing this to quite a few people.
    The Doctors are under investigation and will likely loose their licenses to practice, at least in NM. Of course the cops won’t even get a slap on the wrist even for sodomy and torture as per standard law enforcement procedure. Cops nearly always get away with whatever they do.

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    • Yeah, this is the next county over from us. Deming has never been great but wow, this is sad and low even for such a place. They DO have one hell of a meth problem in the town but that still doesn’t excuse LEO acting like this.

      Cops and doctors both should be fired in this case but I’m betting you’re right and no penalties will come down for the cops.

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