St. Landry

May 2, 2013 3:31 PM by Tonya LaCoste

3rd Circuit Court of Appeal's opinion on man beaten to death in Opelousas Jail

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has issued its opinion on a wrongful death lawsuit filed after a man was beaten to death in the Opelousas City Jail. In Sept. 2009, two inmates killed Brian Armstrong. Armstrong's mother, Joyce Gorman, filed suit against the inmates, police department and city. Later, she added the city's insurance company, Lexington Insurance, to her lawsuit.

The case moved to the appeals court after a trial court agreed to dismiss all claims Gorman and the city made against the insurance company. The trial court had ruled in favor of Lexington, agreeing with the insurance company's argument that it wasn't obligated to cover damages because Gorman nor the city notified the insurance company of the claim in writing in a timely manner.

Although the court of appeals ruled in favor of Gorman, it ruled against the City of Opelousas, saying a provision in the city's contract with the insurance company can't be used to deprive Gorman.

The court of appeals has sent the matter back to trial court.

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