LAFAYETTE, LA, September 28, 2015 – A Complaint for Damages has been filed against Lafayette Parish Sheriff Michael W. Neustrom, Lafayette Consolidated Government President Joey Durel and others in U.S. District Court – Western District of Louisiana by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess on behalf of Steven Duplechain, III.
The petition lodged September 28, 2015 list Sheriff Michael W. Neustrom; Director of Corrections Rob Reardon; Lafayette Consolidated Government; Parish President Joey Durel; two Deputies Hannah Girrens and Kanan Daigle; and three civilians Angela Darby, Tre’vin Bob and Deangelo Celestine as defendants.
The petition alleges that Steven Duplechain was falsely arrested and imprisoned after he called to report a burglary at his home. While incarcerated Duplechain claims he was attacked and stabbed by two prisoners who were able to manipulate the locking devices on cell doors and gain entry into his cell on more than one occasion.
The petition alleges several causes of action against a multiple defendants ranging from theft, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, failure to protect, cruel and unusual punishment, negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent assignment, negligent entrustment, failure to supervise, failure to correct / discipline, failure to train, failure to direct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability and violations of civil rights protected under the 4th, 8th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
At the heart of the complaint are allegations of a widespread pattern of violence resulting from several contributing factors mainly directed at the Sheriff, including:
Excess Prison Population resulting in a breakdown of facility operations and increased violence (Paragraphs 49 – 65)
Understaffing resulting from a failure of appropriately and adequately assess staffing needs (Paragraphs 49 – 65)
Physical Structure inadequacies and the operation of the physical plant in a manner in which it was never intended (Paragraphs 66 – 76)
Cell Integrity alleging a widespread knowledge of the ability of prisoners to exit their cells at will and failure on the part of defendants to rectify the known issues (Paragraphs 77 – 84)
Inadequate Classification and Separation of Prisoners (Paragraphs 85 – 87)
Inadequate Supervision, Oversight and Administrative Controls (Paragraphs 88 – 91) including an internal memorandum by Rob Reardon commenting on concerns (Paragraph 90)
Inadequate Searches and Shakedowns for Weapons and Contraband (Paragraphs 92 – 102)
Inadequate Training (Paragraphs 103)
Deliberate Indifference to the Constitutionally Unacceptable Risk of Violence Faced by Prisoners and Staff (Paragraphs 104 – 119) including responses on a wide variety of issues by a deputy sheriff in a deposition
Other suits handled in recent years by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess against the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office include:
Rakestrau Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:11-cv-01762)
Thomassee Vs. Neustrom, et al (LA 15th JDC; Docket No.: 2011-2573G)
Howard Vs. Neustrom, et al (U.S. Western District; Docket No.: 6:13-cv-03236)
Please do not contact us regarding this release. No further comments will be made.
Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess
605 W. Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70501