Former inmate of Orleans Parish Prison injured while climbing into bunk, sues

Kyle Barnett Jun. 29, 2012, 5:00am

Orleans Parish Prison

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans woman who was incarcerated in the Orleans Parish Prison is suing the prison's operator for not providing proper medical attention.

Karilyn Blackwell Letell filed suit against Marlin Gusman, Orleans Parish Prison and their insurers in the New Orleans Civil District Court on June 12.

Letell claims she stepped onto the sink in her cell to climb into a bunk bed and slipped and fell and broke her left heel and ankle. The plaintiff alleges that the building at the time was in a state of ruin and pipes were leaking water on the floor. Letell asserts she was in need of immediate emergency medical attention which her jailers denied.

The defendant is accused of failing to provide a reasonably safe place to house inmates, failing to take adequate safety precautions, failing to replace dilapidated pipes, failing to take proper necessary action to prevent harm to plaintiff, strict liability for failing to repair a building they should have known was in a state of ruin, violation of prison standards for the safe house-keeping of inmates.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for pain and suffering, mental anguish, hospitalization, doctor treatments and physical and psychological treatment.

Letell is represented by New Orleans-based attorney Maurice A. Williams.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case number 2012-05796.

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