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Johnson v. City of Philadelphia

3rd Circuit

September 22, 2020

In Johnson v. City of Philadelphia, the 3rd Circuit threw cold water on Section 1983 state-created danger claims. Those claims proliferated based on a few passing words by the United States Supreme Court in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services. In the Johnson case, a 911 operator made massive blunders that led firefighters astray, and several people died as a result. But the Court found that the operator did not affirmatively use her authority, nor did her actions shock the conscience. As a result, the Court held that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

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