Security company loses appeal over statute of limitations in prison rape case

By Yolanda Martinez | Jul 11, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - A security company lost an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on a statute of limitations question.

RR Brink Locking Systems Inc. was sued by a former detainee of the Harrison County Adult Detention Center in Mississippi. The detainee claimed that RR Brink’s locks were faulty which allowed another inmate to assault and rape him when he was 19.

RR Brink claimed that although the detainee was only 19 years old, he was being tried as an adult, subsequently losing his standing as a minor. The appellee argued that Mississippi’s three-year statute of limitations made the detainee’s suit, which was filed at when he was 24, too late.

The court did not agree, stating that Mississippi Code clearly “distinguishing between the concept of emancipation and the disability of infancy.” The disability of infancy can only be removed when the minor reaches the age of 21, making the suit timely.

In a per curiam opinion, Circuit Judges E. Grady Jolly, Emilio M. Garza and Priscilla Owen affirmed the district court’s ruling. The case is now going back to the lower court.

Case no. 12-60589.

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