Woman Injected With Ketamine Sues Hennepin County, Medical Personnel and Others

Ketamine Photo: KSTP

November 08, 2018 01:39 PM

A woman who claims she suffered respiratory distress and had to be intubated after paramedics injected her with ketamine without her consent in December 2017 is suing Hennepin County, Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute and various paramedics and medical personnel, claiming they engaged in medical malpractice, battery and negligence under state law.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Brittany Buckley in U.S. District Court.


The lawsuit alleges Buckley was in her apartment, sleeping on her sofa on the evening of Dec. 16, 2017. It was the two-year anniversary of her father's death and the suit says she was depressed and had been drinking. A friend called 911 to conduct a welfare check and police responded to the apartment.

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Paramedics arrived a short time later, the suit claims, and determined Buckley needed to go to the hospital. The lawsuit alleges that Buckley verbally objected, leading officers and paramedics to handcuff her and carry her out of the building to the ambulance. However, the suit claims, Buckley never attempted to "kick, strike, or bite anyone as she was being carried out to the ambulance."

In the ambulance, the lawsuit alleges, Buckley was complaining and crying, but did not physically resist - contrary, it claims, to an ambulance report that said she was kicking, biting and headbutting responders.

It then claims that, despite her objections, she was injected with ketamine. The lawsuit said that caused respiratory distress so severe she had to be intubated until the next day.

Spokesperson Christine Hill issued a statement on the lawsuit Thursday, saying HCMC could not comment on pending litigation.

"We are aware of the pending litigation," it read. "As it moves through the legal process, we cannot comment further publicly other than to say that we always seek to provide the best care and treatment to our patients."  

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Frank Rajkowski

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