Inmate alleges injuries when his cane was taken away

By Dan Harkins | Jul 17, 2015

An inmate in a state prison re-entry program is suing his jailers and medical team, alleging they took his cane, which he said led to a fall causing a skull fracture.

Perry Evans filed a lawsuit July 6 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman, Dr. Samuel Gore, former chief of the OPSO medical department, Sgt. Deputy Tao, head of the OPSO re-entry program, Dr. Charles Higgins, employed by Gusman and Gore, and OPSO nurses Wallace, Polk, Ione Preston and Celeste Lewis, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other charges.

According to the complaint, on May 19, 2014, Evans was transferred from the Richwood Correctional Center to the Orleans Parish prison to take part in a transitional re-entry program. The suit says the 55-year-old had, since 1983, a history of central core myopathy and muscular dystrophy.

The lawsuit states Evans had his cane taken from him upon transfer and couldn't get it returned despite numerous requests. On July 23, 2014, the lawsuit states, Evans was trying to walk on his tier when he started feeling dizzy and weak but, without his cane, he fell backward and struck his head on the tier, causing him a closed fracture at the base of his skull with internal hemorrhaging.

The suit says Evans still suffers from vertigo and ringing in his ears, which may never stop.

The plaintiff alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the U.S. Constitution and state law.

Evans seeks unspecified compensatory damages, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by attorneys Stephen J. Haedicke and Gary W. Bizal of New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02457-ILRL-DEK.

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