Former veteran police officer sues for slipping on police department stairs days after he was announced as under investigation

Kyle Barnett Dec. 29, 2011, 7:00am

A former veteran police officer is suing the City of New Orleans after he claims he slipped on a staircase within the New Orleans Police Department headquarters because there was no grip surface on them.

Ronald M. Ruiz, Jr. was under investigation by the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau at the time of the incident for admitting he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about their inquiry into the post-Katrina shooting of Henry Glover for which two NOPD police officers were later sentenced.

A video showing Ruiz driving when he claimed he was unable due to the injury was uncovered earlier this year. In the video officers with the Public Integrity Bureau pulled Ruiz over in Jefferson Parish and forced his resignation on the spot.

Ruiz's suit was filed against the City of New Orleans and other parties in Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Dec. 19. Ruiz claims he was descending the stairs at the police department when he slipped on a stair. The plaintiff says he received severe injuries from the incident to his back, neck and legs and re-aggravated existing injuries to his back.

The defendant is accused of failing to take precautions to keep the incident from occurring, failing to maintain the building, failing to warn of the dangerous condition, failing to inspect stairwell for safety, failing to protect those using the stairs and failing to re-route people from the faulty area.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages and diminished earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life and permanent partial disability.

Ruiz is being represented by Raymond C. Burkhart of Covington-based Burkhart and Associates.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case number 2011-13015

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