Posted: Oct 4, 2013 11:31 AM by AP
LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - A federal judge dismissed Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard and parish government as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents of an inmate who died after a fight in the jail in June 2012.
The Advocate reports 35-year-old Darrin Norton, died while in custody at the Livingston Parish Detention Center following a struggle with jail guards on June 17, 2012.
His parents, Stanley Norton and Rhonda Posey, sued the jail, Ard and Livingston Parish government in state District Court on June 12, claiming their son died from guards' use of excessive force and failure to render aid after the altercation.
The suit was later transferred to federal court.
U.S. District Judge James J. Brady, in his ruling Wednesday, said Ard and the parish cannot be held liable, under law, for the actions of their subordinates.
Brady also ruled Norton's parents failed to provide enough facts showing Ard showed indifference in Norton's medical treatment.
U.S. Magistrate Stephen Riedlinger had already dismissed the Sheriff's Office and Livingston Parish Detention Center as defendants in the suit.
Willie Graves, who was sheriff at the time of Norton's death, remains as a defendant in the case, along with eight deputies and a nurse.
Livingston Parish attorney Chris Moody said the parish will file a motion to have the nurse, Courtney Chaney, dismissed from the lawsuit as well.
"Our position is that everything was done that could be done for this poor gentlemen, and that there was certainly no malpractice or any negligence on behalf of any parish employees, including the nurse," Moody said.