Woman sues St. Charles Parish sheriff, sheriff's office over suicide attempt

By The Louisiana Record | Apr 28, 2015

A St. Charles Parish woman is suing the St. Charles Parish Sheriff and his department for not dispensing the medications she alleges would have kept her from trying to kill herself in jail.

Nicole Becnel filed a lawsuit April 1 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against Sheriff Greg Champagne and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office.

According to the complaint, she was not provided with her regular prescription medications, Klonopin and Effexor, during her time at the St. Charles Parish Nelson Coleman Correctional Center after a domestic dispute May 6, 2014. The jail's doctor ordered the medications for Becnel during her medical examination, the lawsuit states, but Becnel never received them.

Three days later, after becoming "increasingly anxious and depressed," Becnel attempted suicide "by jumping head first off a second-floor balcony," according to the lawsuit. Becnel suffered spinal fractures, damage to her spleen, head injuries and fractures to both wrists in the leap, the suit says, and she spent the subsequent month in the hospital.

Becnel seeks untabulated compensatory and nominal damages, as well as court costs and attorney fees. She is represented by attorney Todd R. Slack, of Huber, Slack, Thomas and Marcelle in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number: 2:15-CV-01011-SSV-JCW.

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