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Smith v Guidroz

Case No. 12-1232 (LA Ct. App., 3rd Circ., Oct. 30, 2013)

The City of Eunice and Officer Brian Rozas, individually and in his capacity as an officer for the City of Eunice, appeal the trial court’s judgment finding them fifty percent at fault in causing injuries allegedly sustained by Plaintiff, Jurnell Smith, when he came upon a police stop while driving his vehicle home. Plaintiff was awarded $50,000.00 in general damages, $50,000.00 in damages for emotional distress, $2,983.00 in medical expenses and $21,732.00 in lost wages. Appellants contest both the finding of fault and the amounts awarded in damages. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY



On April 22, 2009, Deputy Eric Reed of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Department received a call from the Eunice Police Department (EPD) that officers were in pursuit of a suspect in a stabbing incident at a local bar. The suspect was heading north on Martin Luther King (M.L.K.) in Eunice. Deputy Reed drove towards M.L.K. on Highway 190 and saw blue lights flashing ahead of him as he approached a railroad intersection. Two EPD units had blocked in a vehicle. Deputy Reed pulled up and saw Officer Brian Rozas and Officer Peggy Sylvester of the EPD patting down a young male.

After exiting his vehicle, Deputy Reed was asked by Officer Kennedy, who had driven one of the two EPD units, if he would stay and help secure the scene with Officers Rozas and Sylvester, while he returned to Club Diamond where the stabbing occurred. Shortly after Deputy Reed arrived, a vehicle driven by Plaintiff, Jurnell Smith approached the scene. Plaintiff was driving home after having dinner in Ville Platte. The version of events told by Plaintiff and the officers as to what occurred next is at odds.
 

 

Judge(s): Sylvia R. Cooks
Jurisdiction: Louisiana Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Related Categories: Damages
 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Alonzo Harris

 
Court of Appeals Judge(s)
Marc Amy
Sylvia Cooks
Phyllis Keaty

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Jarvis Claiborne

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Kenneth Willis
Ray Lucas, III Borne & Wilkes LLC
Joy Rabalais Borne & Wilkes LLC
Tonya Smith Borne & Wilkes LLC
John Wilkes, III Borne & Wilkes LLC

 

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Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
officer rozas, plaintiff resisted, slapping at officer rozas’ hands and pushing him what occurred next is at odds. (la.app. 3 cir. 10/6/04), 884 so.2d 1224, 1228, writs denied, 04-2719, 04-2735 trial that plaintiff treated with dr. lecorgne on several occasions after the date of plaintiff was tased and pepper sprayed. he believed the officers should have probable cause to arrest plaintiff and take him into custody. more credible than that of the officers. to accept defendants’ argument that the review of the trial court’s lengthy reasons for judgment reveals no basis for this we also find no merit in defendants’ argument that medical specials should in kyle, 353 so.2d 969, the supreme court specifically to hear [plaintiff’s] defense.” after hearing plaintiff’s defense, the city court p.o. box 1033 interfere with the duties of the officers on the night in question. plaintiff and question plaintiff on the night in question, there was no award for damages unless it is so out of proportion to the injury complained of that 19 peremptory exception of res judicata is denied. all costs of this appeal are reed that he was a taxpayer and paid his salary. plaintiff reiterated to deputy false arrest. with both knees, as well as some arthritis and heart disease. thus, the trial court excessive force against an inmate. plaintiff maintained he used the necessary force employment. we find no manifest error in the trial court’s determination that use of tasers is only exceeded by the use of lethal force, due to the medical summary judgment asserting there were no genuine issues of fact material to parish of st. landry, docket no. 09-c-6656-c damage award herein. charged with interfering with the duties of a police investigation and resisting risks and dangers faced by the officers, the nature of the officer rozas’ use of force was excessive and unreasonable. we disagree. procedures. dr. grafton concluded both officer rozas and deputy reed were court’s findings. moreover, where there is conflicting testimony, inferences of fact $50,000.00 in damages for emotional distress. the primary basis for this argument door and attempted to pull plaintiff out to take him into custody. according to ray f. lucas, iii bobby guidroz, et al. court noted plaintiff was not cited with any traffic violations and committed no on october 2, 2009, a criminal trial was held against plaintiff in eunice city an appropriate award, but rather to review the exercise of discretion by the trier of on december 21, 2009, plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against defendants also contend the trial court abused its discretion in awarding he was very disturbed by it.” “[c]onsidering all of the facts and circumstances in this case, the officers used he, plaintiff, was not cited for any traffic violations for opelousas, la 70571-1033 was then approached by officer rozas who had his gun drawn. the trial court also was approached by officer rozas with gun drawn in his face having erred in rendering an award for lost wages. defendants contend plaintiff was not officers. arrested. under that scenario you can resist an unlawful arrest or a and the exigencies of the moment. officers as true and discount the plaintiff’s testimony. they point to contradictions court composed of sylvia r. cooks, marc t. amy, and phyllis m. keaty, judges. plaintiff’s claims against them and they were entitled to summary judgment as a defendants next contend the trial court found no probable cause existed to in this case. 13 stabbing occurred. shortly after deputy reed arrived, a vehicle driven by plaintiff, affirmed; exception of res judicata denied. this court recently in harvey v. city of eunice police dep’t., 10-1228, pp. the court finds that initially there were four officers on the suspicion to detain [plaintiff] or probable cause to arrest him is of no moment. it arrest plaintiff is unpersuasive. however, the officers’ testimony clearly evidences attorney for plaintiff/appellee the trial court assessed fault equally to officer rozas and deputy reed and the use of force when necessary to make an arrest deputy reed stated he approached plaintiff’s vehicle as it re-approached the scene to drive home and slowly passed the vehicles (which was only able to occur due to tasered several more times. thus, there is sufficient evidence in the record to evaluation with dr. lyle lecorgne on may 9, 2009. on deposition, 200 west congress street, suite 1000 approached his vehicle, yelling “what are you doing?” plaintiff stated he told comparative fault to plaintiff. plaintiff, deputy reed had his flashlight pointing at plaintiff’s face and his other defendants’ peremptory exception of res judicata. we find no merit in this argument. as plaintiff notes, at no time during the criminal proceedings was there 4 the police units. due to a reduction in manpower at pine prairie correctional center. defendants provide his name and driver’s license, which he did not do. according to officer dr. lecorgne could not, with certainty, discern the extent to which existed to arrest plaintiff. the trial court indicated plaintiff was simply trying to causing his symptomology. therefore, as a matter of law, plaintiff assessed sheriff guidroz and deputy reed fifty percent (50%) at fault and the city advisement, on june 28, 2012, the trial court issued lengthy written reasons for 353 so.2d 969 (la.1977). it is well established that on appeal, a trial court’s findings of fact are 02-893 (la.app. 1 cir. 4/2/03), 843 so.2d 1157, and kyle v. city of new orleans, excessive force claims are analyzed: following reasons, we affirm. should not be disturbed upon review even if the reviewing court feels that its own discretion in awarding plaintiff $50,000.00 for his general damages. the city of eunice and officer brian rozas, individually and in his capacity the trial court clearly found as credible plaintiff’s testimony that he endured traffic and plaintiff attempted to ease his vehicle past the police units. he for a number of years. issue of whether probable cause to arrest plaintiff on april 22, 2009 was i. finding of no probable cause to arrest plaintiff. court of appeal, third circuit plaintiff had not committed any crime and the officers had no stobart, 617 so.2d 880. carried out by law enforcement in heated situations such as this. he noted that the committed legal error in finding the officers had probable cause to stop plaintiff department received a call from the eunice police department (epd) that officers dr. grafton stated he considered the kyle factors and noted officer rozas street and turn around and head back to turn right onto lloyd street. maintained his vehicle was partially on the shoulder as he proceeded past the and question him, but no probable cause to arrest him. the trial court found and not liable for the medical expenses. the incident in question. the trial court noted in its’ reasons that plaintiff “testified hornbeck, 10-1539, p. 5 (la.app. 3 cir. 5/11/11), 65 so.3d 784, 788, stated: matter of law. specifically, they argued all actions by deputy reed were absence of manifest error. benoit v. hartford cas. ins. co., 478 so.2d 707 court’s factual findings, it was legal error for the trial court to find the officers the city of eunice. plaintiff set forth claims for negligent injury and excessive the officers’ failure to tape off the area) initially before turning around. plaintiff committed no crimes. same position as the officers and with the same ********** 18 whether the officers employed excessive force. jarvis j. claiborne incident in question that “compounded” the injuries suffered therein. the trial not plaintiff’s on this controlling issue. this argument has no merit. thus, we february 25, 2011, march 14, 2011, april 13, 2011, and april 28, 2011. the trial was tased again several times by officer rozas. this case and followed proper procedures. at this point, plaintiff noted officer rozas approached plaintiff’s vehicle was displaying obvious signs of distress. for an officer, but did not initially see one. he stated there was no one directing plaintiff. there down the street. (la.1/14/05), 889 so.2d 270, 271, and citing penn v. st. tammany sheriff's office, plaintiff testified that he did not see any officers when he “right there.” deputy reed stated he again asked plaintiff for identification, and plaintiff in this case is a law abiding citizen, had along military career rozas, plaintiff continued yelling, at which point officer rozas told plaintiff he was awarded $50,000.00 in general damages, $50,000.00 in damages for emotional genuine issues of material fact existed and there is no evidence to support excessive force in this case.” further, the trial court, when discussing the committed any crime and the officers had no probable cause to arrest plaintiff in shreveport, 30,107 (la.app. 2 cir. 1/23/98), 706 so.2d 213, writ denied, 98-0752 plaintiff was tazed [sic] and drive stun[ned] in this case at least incurred an “aggravation of [his] prior medical conditions.” the trial court detained.” la.code crim.p. art. 220. whether the officers had reasonable hindsight, to argue plaintiff’s conduct, which allegedly involved the commission of written reasons. plaintiff also testified he was specifically told by the warden at at this point, the officers were able to get plaintiff to the ground and handcuff him. determination are the known character of the arrestee, the get on the ground as ordered. at this point, deputy reed pepper sprayed plaintiff and weaponry of the officers as compared to the arrestee, wages. maintained he suffered physical injuries as a result of the incident. he began plaintiff established his entitlement to damages for emotional distress. negligent infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, and failure to the roadway. plaintiff stated he decided to go past the intersection with lloyd plaintiff. were denied by the trial court, finding genuine issues of material fact existed. 10 tonya r. smith existed, and not because the eunice city court acquitted plaintiff. affirmed; exception of res judicata denied. cormier and officer sylvester were dismissed via a motion for involuntary 12-1232 smith, when he came upon a police stop while driving his vehicle home. plaintiff plaintiff testified he first saw deputy reed when he turned around, put his arrived on the scene and subsequently proceeded slowly passed [sic] of ordinary, prudent and reasonable men placed in the not have been awarded. defendants base this contention on the previously rejected hyperventilating and began convulsing. neither officer attended to him while he in their first assignment of error, defendants contend the trial court erred in was under arrest. officer rozas asked plaintiff to step out of the vehicle, which by plaintiff, nor was he trying to flee. lastly, dr. grafton believed there were ground. despite telling the officers not to tase him because he had a bad heart, he failed to prove serious mental injury resulting from his lawful arrest, plaintiff, who was agitated, did not comply, nor would he answer questions. one incident was causing the symptomology which [plaintiff] relayed department; st. landry parish sheriff’s deputy eric reed; the city of eunice; to deploy his taser. is clear that regardless of whether reasonable suspicion exists to stop or probable instructor, and dr. larry gould, who believed both officers acted reasonably in whether the force used is reasonable depends on state of louisiana the court finds that both officers, rozas and reed overreacted are clearly wrong. rosell v. esco, 549 so.2d 840 (la.1989). where there is dr. grafton also noted it was a violation of procedure for the officers not to (la. 5/1/98), 718 so.2d 418. thus, the issue to be resolved is not whether the trial the allocation of comparative fault is a factual matter within the discretion “reasonable and justified under the circumstances.” similarly on february 25, this case comes down to who you believe. who is credible or should rarely disturb an award of general damages. thus, the role of the appellate the police units partially in the road and the shoulder. (la.app. 3 cir. 1985), writ denied, 480 so.2d 745 (la.1986); o’riley v. city of factual findings will not be set aside in the absence of manifest error or unless they attempted to explain that the officers were pursuing a stabbing suspect and plaintiff situation. he maintained that one step above the resistance is what is to be used or a shift manager at pine prairie correctional center within the same week. plaintiff assertion. the trial court set forth several reasons for finding no probable cause car in drive and went forward a few feet. he said he stopped and deputy reed and failed to prove any medical causation. result of the april 22, 2009 incident. there is no dispute plaintiff endured plaintiff asserted as he moved to his left to open the door, he was pepper sprayed rather than answer the questions, deputy reed said plaintiff told him he was a sylvia r. cooks immediately after the incident, plaintiff went to acadiana medical center for a their initial reasons for arresting plaintiff had nothing to with any traffic violation, after reviewing the record, we cannot say the trial court abused its vast within the scope of protection afforded by the duty breached.” id. at reed employed excessive force in this case. had advanced toward the scene. officer rozas also stated he asked plaintiff to denial of the motion for acquittal now ties the hands of the trial court in this civil surrounding area and to guarantee the officers’ safety. however, the trial court (337) 948-4336 scene before lt. kennedy returned to club diamond. the officers the officers. the trial court’s written reasons for judgment clearly state of the epd patting down a young male. approached a railroad intersection. two epd units had blocked in a vehicle. came upon the scene, and there was sufficient time for officers to tape off the area. by the time plaintiff came upon the scene, as the suspect was in custody and any several defendants: bobby guidroz, the sheriff of the st. landry parish sheriff’s duty was breached by the defendant; [and] (4) the risk of harm was attorneys for defendants/appellees 6 found plaintiff was given contrary instructions by the officers and was unsure 549 so.2d 840. after a thorough review of the record, we find sufficient evidence reached with plaintiff. thus, a motion to dismiss the appeal filed by sheriff frightened for his safety. he noted the gun (which was in actuality a taser gun) factual issue. as such, the trial court’s finding is entitled for the arrest or that the arrest was not lawful, we would find no manifest error in its finding that a probable cause hearing or a preliminary examination. although denying the plaintiff has some inconsistencies in some of his testimony. the an abuse of discretion. at plaintiff’s criminal trial before judge feucht of the eunice guilty of using excessive force. he noted the conflict in the testimony as to when john f. wilkes, iii police investigation and not guilty on the charge of resisting arrest. the city although he believed he would be safer remaining in his vehicle, due to the plaintiff asserted deputy reed asked plaintiff to exit the vehicle, but kept his because plaintiff lost his job the week after the incident in question occurred. we hand on his gun. plaintiff maintained he was never asked for any identification. 15 (337) 232-1604 the deposition. 510 u.s. 1114, 114 s.ct. 1059 (1994). “an appellate court may not overturn an arrest. plaintiff stated as a result of the incident, he was terminated from his job as settled that vast discretion is accorded to the trier of fact in fixing general damage alternative methods of arrest, the physical size, strength, also assert a contributing factor to plaintiff’s being laid off was a finding that he towards m.l.k. on highway 190 and saw blue lights flashing ahead of him as he citations were ever issued to plaintiff. thus, we cannot say, in light of the trial alarmed by him. he also believed the danger in the case had lessened considerably custody. dr. grafton concluded under the kyle factors, officer rozas and deputy provide medical treatment. arrest plaintiff. the city of eunice and officer rozas (hereafter defendants) timely sprayed, forcibly removed from his vehicle and taken to the ground. he was then held that when plaintiff informed the officers he was on his way home (which was cannot say the trial court manifestly erred in awarding plaintiff damages for lost facts and procedural history unreasonable or excessive force, they and their employer according to the officers, once plaintiff was secured, all use of force stopped. distress, $2,983.00 in medical expenses and $21,732.00 in lost wages. appellants the totality of the facts and circumstances in each case. that issue is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. generally, excessive force claims fall under the duty/risk defendants assert it is unclear whether the trial court found a battery was court noted in its written reasons that “[p]laintiff saw dr. lecorgne on many judge plaintiff’s vehicle in order to ascertain the nature of plaintiff’s presence in the lived, because one of the police units and the blocked-in vehicle were obstructing support the trial court’s conclusion that the officers’ actions were the sole cause of this case.” the trial court also found the officers used excessive force and plaintiff testimony of plaintiff’s expert, noted it used the kyle factors in determining going, his name, and asked for his identification. deputy reed acknowledged he plaintiff presented the testimony of dr. lloyd grafton, a police consultant an actionable claim for damages.” see zerbe v. town of carencro, 04-422, p. 7 reasonable under the totality of the circumstances. officers should have stopped their questioning of plaintiff. defendants’ attempt, in . . . unit and placed him in the backseat. according to plaintiff, he was reached into the car to get plaintiff out, rather than use tasers and pepper spray. he to great weight. borne & wilkes, l.l.c. plaintiff’s evidence and testimony. the city court judge specifically noted that, occasions.” it is correct that plaintiff had only treated with dr. lecorgne once on dr. lecorgne testified plaintiff was “feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety,” and the incident. there were conflicting statements on both sides in this case. 11 jurnell smith up from the seat belt release toward the door handle in an attempt to open the door. offense involved, the chance of the arrestee’s escape if emotional problems related to an incident where he was tasered several times, cause exists to detain, “the use of excessive force in effecting the arrest becomes dismissal pursuant to la.code civ.p. art. 1672. after taking the matter under officers used excessive force in this case. fact. youn v. maritime overseas corp., 623 so.2d 1257 (la.1993), cert. denied, an officer “may use reasonable force to effect the arrest and detention, and also to excessive force was used, the trial court erred in not assessing some percentage of according to plaintiff, as he approached the scene, he stopped and looked that the trial court in the civil case was bound to follow. this is also the basis for in plaintiff’s testimony. the trial court noted there were conflicts in the officers’ the trial court noted it reviewed and considered the testimony of the 8 of evidence, the city court judge did not, at that time, have the opportunity to hear plaintiff was minding his own business trying to get home. eunice; and officer john cormier, individually and in his capacity as an officer for argument that the officers were not guilty of excessive force, thus defendants were after several refusals to exit the vehicle, officer rozas stated he opened the p.o. box 4305 decree plaintiff was fearing for his life. he had not committed a crime. he plaintiff’s claims that defendants are liable to him. both summary judgments 952 so.2d 874. both knees. plaintiff testified at trial that he still endured pain in his back, right 699 so.2d 1072. under that standard, the plaintiff must prove “(1) plaintiff did not commit a crime and therefore, was falsely reed employed excessive force considering the totality of the circumstances. the awarded $50,000.00 in general damages, $50,000.00 in damages for emotional after exiting his vehicle, deputy reed was asked by officer kennedy, who matter, essentially would allow only the officer’s testimony to be considered and likely would have prevented the situation that followed when plaintiff drove past 1/13/09), 8 so.3d 30, 40. we find no basis to overturn the trial court’s general elbow and knees. it was established at trial that plaintiff did have prior problems follow up and had relayed other traumatic events in his life. as such, dr. lecorgne testified since [plaintiff] only had one visit with no reviewed pursuant to the manifest error standard of review; thus, the trial court’s 9 officers testified that they saw plaintiff pass through the scene plaintiff was eventually transported to the eunice police department and again tased plaintiff, who finally exited the vehicle. according to the officers, jurnell smith a court must evaluate the officers’ actions against those is a legitimate police function. but if the officers use 2 that when he goes home every day and pass[es] the area where everything of eunice and officer rozas fifty percent (50%) at fault in this case. plaintiff was medical conditions.” the trial court also noted the automobile accident. thus, the opelousas, la 70571-1033 pepper sprayed, and falsely arrested, ultimately leading to his termination from his defendants also filed a peremptory exception of res judicata, contending the plaintiff refused to do. motion for acquittal, which plaintiff made at the close of the state’s presentation judge ruled in plaintiff’s favor, apparently finding plaintiff’s version of the events criminal trial in eunice city court equated to a finding of probable cause to arrest defendants point out plaintiff had pre-existing physical problems, as well as officer rozas stated at this point he approached plaintiff’s vehicle and (337) 948-4336 problems it can cause. on april 22, 2009, deputy eric reed of the st. landry parish sheriff’s appeal from the having arrested a felony suspect and conducting an inventory on the and subsequently working in law enforcement as a correctional officer a four-day bench trial was held. at the close of plaintiff’s case, officer lacked probable cause to arrest plaintiff.1 in an effort to get him under control. plaintiff was tased again by officer rozas. judgment finding in favor of plaintiff. the trial court determined plaintiff “had not officer rozas said the first taser attempt was not effective, and plaintiff defendants contend the trial court abused its discretion in the awards for lafayette, la 70502-4305 testimony was found more credible. the trial court concluded: court in reviewing general damage awards is not to decide what it considers to be charges. the judge found that plaintiff had no intent to resist or 2. the trial court erred in failing to find officer rozas’ use of force vehicle. due to his continued refusal, officer rozas testified he had no choice but conflicting testimony, inferences of fact should not be disturbed upon review even after turning around. according to deputy reed he asked plaintiff where he was dr. lecorgne did testify in his deposition that at the initial evaluation, addressed analysis of excessive force claims, stating: overcome any resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested or kenneth m. willis suspect’s car and could have taped off the area. this basic procedure more than 3-4 (la.app. 3 cir. 4/6/11), 62 so.3d 290, 293, discussed the standard under which lecorgne is incorrect. plaintiff testified he saw dr. lecorgne on may 9, 2009, . . . decided to open the door and while reaching to do so, was tasered and pepper distress, $2,983.00 in medical expenses and $21,732.00 in lost wages. jurnell smith approached the scene. plaintiff was driving home after having jurnell smith 1077. in determining whether there was a breach of duty, the court are liable for any injuries which result. again, this court agrees with the expert opinion of the plaintiff sheriff guidroz and deputy reed appealed the trial court’s judgment. bruised right arm and elbow. plaintiff also noted he suffered significant pain in [he] had proceeded through the scene and turned around to be able to began yelling he had a bad heart. plaintiff remained in the vehicle. officer rozas service in the military” and that plaintiff “suffered an aggravation of [his] prior judge found plaintiff had no intent to resist arrest or interfere with the duties of the opined that soft hand and hard hand techniques could have been used in this the conduct in question was the cause-in-fact of the resulting harm; the record supports the finding that plaintiff sustained physical injuries as a proceeding through a crime scene or driving on the shoulder of the deputy reed pulled up and saw officer brian rozas and officer peggy sylvester spoke in a very loud voice. officer rozas, who was standing to the side, heard with his gun drawn. plaintiff stated officer rozas pointed the weapon at him and assessed to defendants-appellants, the city of eunice and officer brian rozas. testimony as well, and recognized resolution of this case came down to which happened, he can see the officers [tasering] him and that causes him emotional general damages, emotional distress, medical expense and lost wages. alternative, less drastic measures that could have been used to take plaintiff into road. defendants ask this court to accept the version of facts offered by the we also find no merit in defendants’ argument that the trial court manifestly officers’ repeated requests, plaintiff released his seatbelt. he then moved his hand reasonable. id.; stobart v. state through dotd, 617 so.2d 880 (la.1993). fifty percent at fault in causing injuries allegedly sustained by plaintiff, jurnell however, during the pendency of this appeal, a settlement as to all disputes was should apply the factors enumerated in kyle v. city of new orleans, on december 10, 2010, sheriff guidroz and deputy reed filed a motion for although she was denying the motion for acquittal, the court was “certainly here defendants argue, even if this court finds a false arrest was made and who was accepted as an expert in the field of law enforcement policy and iv. contributory fault. were in pursuit of a suspect in a stabbing incident at a local bar. the suspect was defendants’ expert, mr. george armbruster, a post-certified peace officer and defendants contend the trial court committed manifest error in finding distress. it is on his mind daily according to his testimony.” 2011, defendants the city of eunice, officer brian rozas, officer peggy sylvester deputy reed make those requests. deputy reed said plaintiff told him he lives who was more credible. to dr. lecorgne, or whether the previous events were overlaying and dr. grafton specifically noted one officer was conducting an inventory of the committed, or if it found under the kyle factors that excessive force was used by 353 so.2d 969 (la.1977); see also patton v. self, 06-1029 (la.app. 3 cir. 3/7/07), court clearly found plaintiff’s testimony in this regard credible, undoubtedly in part being involved in an automobile accident approximately seven months after the several factors to be considered in making this attorney for plaintiff/appellee we also point out that even assuming the trial court erred in finding no probable cause existed turn right onto lloyd street where he lived. reed that he had done nothing wrong. correctly found plaintiff suffered an aggravation of his prior medical conditions. leg pressed against the car door, preventing plaintiff from complying. deputy plaintiff was having repeated intrusive recollections of the april 22, 2009 incident. which officer’s command to follow. although fearing for his safety, plaintiff evaluations and inferences are more reasonable. stobart, 617 so.2d 880; rosell, id. at 972-73. (citations omitted.) three times. appealed the trial court’s judgment, asserting the following assignments of error: the officers used excessive force in effectuating the arrest. this court in miller v. village of awards. la.civ.code art. 2324.1; howard v. union carbide corp., 09-2750 (la. had driven one of the two epd units, if he would stay and help secure the scene and then another says get out of the car. plaintiff’s home was right did not know what to do at that point. one officer said stay in the car (2) [the] defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff; (3) the requisite finding officer rozas and deputy reed did not have probable cause to arrest brian rozas, individually and in his capacity as an officer for the city of eunice; 17 officers had some inconsistencies in their testimony as well. 4. the trial court erred in finding no contributory fault on the part of contest both the finding of fault and the amounts awarded in damages. for the considering, all of the facts and circumstances in this case, the first, defendants argue the denial of plaintiff’s motion for acquittal at the 3 determinations of the witnesses, great deference must be afforded to the trial court. he was found not guilty on the charge of interfering with the duties of a 814 n. main street area to prevent any traffic from proceeding though the area. probable cause to arrest plaintiff in this case. few minutes later told by officer rozas to get out of the car. plaintiff 12 terminated from his job due to the april 22, 2009 incident, but instead was laid off 10/19/10), 50 so.3d 1251. this vast discretion is such that an appellate court the officers then handcuffed plaintiff, and deputy reed took plaintiff to his but did not stop plaintiff. this court finds that although the officers had the right to stop ii. the trial court’s finding of excessive force. for the above reasons, the trial court’s judgment is affirmed. defendants’ it shocks the conscience.” harrington v. wilson, 08-544, p. 16 (la.app. 5 cir. upon exiting the vehicle plaintiff displayed an aggressive manner, and would not the particular means are not employed, the existence of p.o. box 1033 lastly, we find no merit in defendants’ argument that the trial court of the trial court, and its determination must not be disturbed on appeal in the though the reviewing court feels that its own evaluations and inferences are more ********** knowledge as the officers. the degree of force is a used excessive force against an inmate under his control. very close to the scene) and plaintiff was not charged with any traffic citations, the in the record to support the trial court’s conclusion that officer rozas and deputy regarding emotional damages, [plaintiff] only had one twenty-seventh judicial district court plaintiff argues defendants’ assertion that he had only “one evaluation” with dr. with officers rozas and sylvester, while he returned to club diamond where the 814 n. main street as an officer for the city of eunice, appeal the trial court’s judgment finding them around. he notified the officers he lived right around the corner. further, the trial police units. he testified he could not make a left turn onto lloyd street, where he dinner in ville platte. the version of events told by plaintiff and the officers as to deputy reed he lived on lloyd street and pointed at the street sign. according to restaurants. until after he proceeded slowly through the scene and safely turned his vehicle iii. the trial court’s damage awards. the city of eunice, louisiana; and officer brian rozas, individually and pine prairie that he was being let go due to the april 22, 2009 incident. the trial and deputy reed were unfamiliar with the character of plaintiff so as to be trial court was aware of and considered plaintiff’s past medical history. away. officer rozas told plaintiff he would be tasered if he did not exit the drive home when he came upon the scene, and was not stopped by the officers 16 city court, she found the plaintiff, jurnell smith, not guilty of both was only a couple of feet away from him. crime. it was for these reasons the trial court found no probable cause to arrest plaintiff concedes the officers had the right to conduct an investigatory stop of when, as here, the factual findings of the trial court are based on the credibility trial court agreed. 1 in this case, plaintiff was not stopped by the officers until after by defendants is set forth in brief as follows: which under ordinary conditions warrants only the issuing of a ticket. no traffic excruciating pain as a result of the taser and pepper spray used on him. the trial court awarded plaintiff $50,000.00 in general damages. it is well- plaintiff “became tearful on a couple of occasions as he related what happened. . . . result of the incident. plaintiff testified he has increased difficulty sleeping, does danger to the officers was non-existent. further, no offense had been committed not fish as often as he used to due to his injuries, nor does he go out to movies and plaintiff testified at trial as to emotional problems he endured as a result of force, false arrest, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the officers, a different version of events took place that night. tape off the area. the suspect was under control and secured by the time plaintiff peggy sylvester, individually and in her capacity as an officer for the city of court specifically noted plaintiff had “some medical issues over his years of even if the officers had asked plaintiff for his id at that point, 5 also ordered him to exit the vehicle. plaintiff alleged at this point he was deny the peremptory exception of res judicata. captain at a correctional facility and spent twenty-four years in the air force. honorable alonzo harris, district judge certain traffic violations, served to provide the officers with probable cause to suffering from pain in his back, hip, shoulder and knees. arrest based solely on the fact plaintiff was found not guilty in his criminal trial. a and officer john cormier filed a motion for summary judgment asserting that no guidroz and deputy reed was granted. in this case. plaintiff testified on cross-examination concerning his alleged use of cooks, judge. plaintiff was told by deputy reed to stay in the car and then a ********** the trial court also found plaintiff suffered a loss of enjoyment of life as a in his capacity as a police officer for the city of eunice analysis for negligence claims. stroik v. ponseti, 96-2897 (la.9/9/97), court was right or wrong, but whether its conclusion was a reasonable one. and tased at the same time. he testified both officers then threw him on the joy c. rabalais to control the inmate. the trial court was aware of the incident, mentioning it in its 3. the trial court’s award of damages was manifestly erroneous and scene, could have easily taken two minutes to rope off or tape off the 7 versus 1. the trial court erred in failing to find there was probable cause to the date dr. lecorgne was deposed; however, it was not disputed by defendants at heading north on martin luther king (m.l.k.) in eunice. deputy reed drove 14 conclusively decided at the criminal trial in eunice city court and relitigation of declined to place any on plaintiff. the trial court noted plaintiff was simply trying reed again ordered plaintiff to exit the vehicle, and plaintiff responded to deputy


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