W&R file $18M Civil Rights Lawsuit

Gre­gory Rome filed an $18 Mil­lion civil rights law­suit in fed­eral court on Thurs­day in con­nec­tion with the death of 19-year-old Nimali Henry in St. Bernard Parish Jail last spring. The law­suit alleges that the Jail’s employ­ees neglected or refused to pro­vide nec­es­sary med­ical care to Nimali Henry, result­ing in her death. It is brought on behalf of Nimali’s infant child, who was four months old at the time of her mother’s death.

Cov­er­age at The New Orleans Advo­cate.

St. Bernard Parish Defeats Taffaro’s Civil Rights Lawsuit

Chal­mette, Louisiana — The firm obtained a com­plete dis­missal of for­mer Parish Pres­i­dent Craig Taffaro’s civil rights law­suit against St. Bernard Parish and its employ­ees Friday.

Mr. Taf­faro sued St. Bernard Parish Gov­ern­ment, Parish Pres­i­dent David Per­alta, other high level Parish employ­ees, and a St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Deputy in fed­eral court last Novem­ber fol­low­ing the recov­ery of thou­sands of pages of miss­ing Parish doc­u­ments from Mr. Taffaro’s per­sonal stor­age unit. Mr. Taf­faro removed the doc­u­ments from the Parish’s offices after los­ing his bid for reelec­tion in 2011.

Mr. Taf­faro alleged that the defen­dants vio­lated his civil rights by search­ing his stor­age unit and that they defamed him,  caused him emo­tional dis­tress, and unjustly inter­fered with his present employ­ment as Direc­tor of Haz­ard Mit­i­ga­tion for the Louisiana Depart­ment of Admin­is­tra­tion under Gov­er­nor Jin­dal. He demanded at least $2.75 mil­lion in damages.

Judge Mar­tin Feld­man of the East­ern Dis­trict of Louisiana granted the firm’s motion to dis­miss Mr. Taffaro’s law­suit Fri­day. The Court noted that Mr. Taf­faro failed to allege any facts that, if proven at trial, would show that St. Bernard Parish and its employ­ees vio­lated his rights. In par­tic­u­lar, the Court dis­missed Mr. Taffaro’s civil rights claims because the defen­dants located the miss­ing Parish records while exe­cut­ing a valid search war­rant issued as part of an inves­ti­ga­tion into the records’ disappearance.

The full text of the Court’s opin­ion is avail­able here: Taf­faro v. Per­alta Dis­missal Order.