A judge has refused to dismiss the lawsuit of a western Pennsylvania woman who claims state troopers pepper sprayed and later urinated on her while she was shackled hand and foot.
The judge said that the troopers’ claim of sovereign immunity doesn’t apply because the alleged misconduct is outside the scope of their official duties.
Derena Marie Madison, 40, of Smithfield, sued five troopers from the barracks near Uniontown in August for conduct she claims occurred when she was riding in her car while a friend was stopped for drunken driving on Feb. 3.
Madison contends she was in the passenger seat of her car when the driver was charged with drunken driving and claims she was arrested after protesting about her car being towed.
Once at the barracks, Madison said, she was handcuffed behind her back and had her legs shackled to a bench so she could not get up.
She says that she was pepper sprayed twice, then taken out in the snow and doused with cold water before someone urinated on her.
Madison named two of the troopers, Chad Weaver and Cpl. Michael Zampagona, but doesn’t know the names of the others.
The attorney general’s office, representing the troopers, asked that the lawsuit be dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity which, contends that law enforcement officers are immune from being sued for actions “within the scope of their employment.”