Battle Lake dad loses lawsuit claiming cops kept him from son's birth
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - An Otter Tail County judge dismissed a lawsuit against two Fergus Falls police officers accused of wrongfully detaining a man and preventing him from witnessing the birth of his child.Dennis Fronning of Battle Lake filed a l...
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - An Otter Tail County judge dismissed a lawsuit against two Fergus Falls police officers accused of wrongfully detaining a man and preventing him from witnessing the birth of his child.
Dennis Fronning of Battle Lake filed a lawsuit in 2014 against Officer Robb Foreman, Sgt. Andrew Miller, the Fergus Falls Police Department and the City of Fergus Falls claiming he had been wrongfully detained -- once while he was on the way to the hospital with his pregnant wife and again at the hospital.
Otter Tail County Judge Vicki Landwehr approved a motion by the defendants for a summary judgment and ruled in favor of the officers, finding that their actions didn’t rise to the level of malice.
“Whether or not there was a brief unlawful detention, defendants are entitled to qualified and official immunity,” Landwehr wrote in the ruling.
After complications arose during a planned home delivery for his pregnant wife, Fronning was rushing to Lake Region Healthcare on the advice of his midwife. On the way, he was stopped near the intersection of Otter Tail County Road 33 and Minnesota Highway 210 and detained by Fergus Falls police officers, while his wife was taken the rest of the way via ambulance.
While Fronning was taken to the hospital, the civil suit claims that officers detained him and denied him the chance to see the birth of his baby boy.
Fronning sued for damages in an amount greater than $50,000 for suffering mental pain and anguish, severe emotional trauma, embarrassment and humiliation.
A response filed on behalf of the defendants argues that the officers acted lawfully, and that any injuries or damage sustained by Fronning was the result of his own careless, negligent conduct.