Live Oak High School football coach suing for defamation and slander

Catherine Melancon Dec. 5, 2012, 5:00am

Jill L. Craft

BATON ROUGE – A Livingston Parish high school football coach is suing a Bossier City high school principal for alleged defamation.

Barry Musemeche filed suit against Bossier Parish School System, Nichole Bourgeois, principal of Parkway High School, and City of Bossier through the Bossier City Police Department in the 19th Judicial Court on Nov. 21.

Musemeche is the head coach of the Live Oak High School Football team in Livingston Parish.

Live Oak High School played Parkway High School in Bossier City for a state playoff game on Nov. 9.

On Nov. 6, the Live Oak High Band was informed it would not be allowed to play at half time, but would be allotted 10 minutes before the game for a pre-game show.

The band director of Live Oak, Brian Feigles, agreed to defer the 10 minutes provided to the band to give the Live Oak football team time to warm up and practice on the field prior to the game.

Bourgeois, the head football coach at Parkway High School, David Feaster, and the head official for the game were allegedly all contacted and told the change of plans. Musemeche asserts no one voiced disagreement at that time.

On Nov. 9, while the Live Oak Football team was warming up, the plaintiff heard an announcement over the speakers that his team had to leave the field.

Shortly after the announcement, a Bossier City police officer and Bourgeois approached him and told him to leave the field immediately.

The plaintiff allegedly told them about the agreement with Feaster and the head officials, and that the team would be off the field by 6:45 p.m.

Musemeche states that suddenly and without warning, Bourgeois told the officer to arrest him and get him off the field.

The plaintiff was arrested and escorted off the field in front of his football team, spectators, and members, cheerleaders, fellow coaches, school administrators and game officials.

The police officers allegedly caused bleeding, cuts, bruises and numbness to the plaintiff's arms by single-locking the handcuffs. Musemeche states the police officers never informed him of the grounds of his arrest or the charges against him.

Musemeche was brought to the officials' locker room where Bourgeois, Live Oak principal, Feaster, police officers and the Live Oak athletic director were located. The principal of Live Oak stated that she had told Bourgeois that the team would use the band's time to warm up and Bourgeois allegedly replied, "This isn't your decision to make," the suit states.

Musemeche was later released.

Media outlets later interviewed Bourgeois regarding the incident, and the plaintiff alleges she falsely insisted he would not leave the field and she requested police officers to escort him off.

Musemeche asserts Bourgeois painted him in a false pubic light and accused him of a crime, which was false and defamatory.

The defendants are accused of libel, slander and defamation that was broadcasted in East Baton Rouge Parish and throughout South Louisiana.

They are also accused of intentionally violating the plaintiff's due process rights to bodily integrity and procedural due process rights, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, deliberately failing to train and adequately supervise Bossier City police officers, falsely imprisoning and detaining the plaintiff against his will, false arrest, assault and battery.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for extreme emotional distress, loss of reputation and standing in the community, humiliation, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering and embarrassment.

The plaintiff is requesting a trial by jury.

Musemeche is represented by Jill L. Craft.

The case has been assigned to Division E Judge William A. Morvant.

Case no. 617210.

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