United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. WILKINSON, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Rashad Rene Hester, is currently a prisoner in the LaSalle
Correctional Center (“LaSalle”) in Olla,
Louisiana. He was incarcerated in the Lafourche Parish
Detention Center (“Lafourche”) in Thibodaux,
Louisiana at the time of the subject incident. He filed this
complaint pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. He alleges that defendant Deputy Santiago Reed
negligently caused Hester to be electrically shocked and that
defendant Nurse Lee provided him with inadequate medical care
for the injuries he suffered in the incident while he was
incarcerated in Lafourche. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages
in the total amount of $150, 000. Record Doc. No. 3
(Complaint at ¶ V).
December 12, 2017, I conducted a telephone conference in this
matter. Participating were plaintiff pro se and Assistant
Lafourche Parish Attorney Mike Jiminez, counsel for
defendants. Plaintiff was sworn and testified for all
purposes permitted by Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d
179 (5th Cir. 1985), and its progeny.
considered the record as a whole and the applicable law, I
recommend that this case be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for the
testified that he was incarcerated in LaSalle, serving a nine
year sentence for his conviction in October 2017 for a drug
distribution charge. Hester stated that he was previously
incarcerated at Lafourche from December 6, 2016 to October
2017 and was transferred to LaSalle in November 2017. Hester
confirmed that his claims in this case arise from an incident
that occurred on January 9, 2017, while he was incarcerated
in Lafourche as a pretrial detainee.
testified that on the day of the incident, he and three or
four other inmates were in a holding cell, called “the
library, ” with Deputy Reed standing guard in the
hallway. Hester stated that he was “nominated” by
his dorm-mates to be their barber, so he was in the library
to cut the other inmates' hair. Plaintiff stated that
Reed gave him a pair of electric clippers. Hester asserted
that he plugged one end of the extension cord into the
clippers while Reed plugged the other end into the electrical
outlet in the hallway outside of the holding cell.
testified that in plugging the cord into the electrical
outlet, Reed negligently “slammed the bars closed,
” which caused the extension cord to get stuck in the
bars. Plaintiff claimed that it was Reed's careless
closing of the cell door, while “laughing and clowning
with his co-workers, ” that caused Hester's left
hand to be shocked by the clippers. “When he slammed
[the extension cord] in [the bars] it caused the shock to
come through the clippers from the extension cord wire,
” plaintiff asserted, “and that sent me falling
to the floor.” When asked whether it was
plaintiff's contention that Reed did this negligently or
carelessly, plaintiff responded, “I think it was
careless, unprofessional work because he was clowning with
another co-worker.” He acknowledged that Reed's
actions were unintentional.
reiterated that he felt a shock during the incident that
knocked him to the floor. Plaintiff asserted that he suffered
pain on the day of the incident, and that he continues to
have “flashbacks” to that moment and pain in his
hand. “Still, to this day, my hand twitches, ” he
claimed. Hester stated that his hand was not burned; the
shock did not produce blood or any kind of cut; he did not
lose consciousness but was dizzy; there was some blackening
or bruising of the hand, which went away; and he experienced
numbness in his hand for approximately one hour after the
shock. “It didn't leave a wound mark, but if you
look in my hand you can tell, you know, ” plaintiff
stated, “that something happened inside my hand.”
asserted that he received no medical care. However, he also
testified that Reed and another officer took him to see night
shift Nurse Lee in the jail 10 to 15 minutes after the
incident, and that she examined his hand and checked his
heart rate. Hester confirmed that he was given one dose of
ibuprofen by the nurse. He stated that he did not attend the
follow-up sick call appointment scheduled for January 16,
2017, because he was transferred to another detention center
only a few days after the incident. Hester testified that he
teleconferenced with a doctor concerning his hand when he
returned to the Lafourche jail for a week or two. He asserted
that he spoke with the teleconference doctor about the
incident, but he claimed that the doctor “blew it off
like nothing was wrong with me.” Hester testified that
at the time of the teleconference he was wearing an Ace
bandage on his hand to stop the twitching.
stated that he did not have a copy of his medical records,
and he denied knowing Carol McCurdy, who signed the chart
notes concerning his medical visit on January 10, 2017.
Plaintiff was advised that his medical records contain no
evidence of any wounds or swelling on the night of the
incident. He confirmed the records' accuracy, but stated
that he had a mark on his hand from the clippers and that the
inside of his left hand tingled.
confirmed that he asserts two kinds of claims arising from
his incarceration at Lafourche, including (1) that Deputy
Reed carelessly handled the electrical clippers and cord,
which led to the shock, and (2) that he did not receive
proper medical care.
verified medical records from the Lafourche jail state that
Hester was brought to the jail medical department shortly
after being shocked by the clippers, and that he complained
of left arm and wrist pain. Record Doc. No. 8-1 at p. 28. The
records indicate that there were no visible wounds or
swelling where plaintiff stated the pain was located.
Id. Plaintiff was instructed to return to the
medical department if his condition persisted or worsened.
Id. Rebecca White noted in the record on August 21,
2017 that she contacted the Catahoula Correctional Center
(“Catahoula”), where plaintiff was being
transferred before being moved to LaSalle, to ask why
plaintiff was wearing an Ace bandage. Id. The record
states that Catahoula had no information about the Ace wrap,
and could not explain why Hester had received the bandage.
conclusion of the Spears hearing, my office
forwarded a copy of the medical records to Hester and
provided him with an opportunity to review them and provide
the court with any written comments he might have about them.
Record Doc. No. 12.
subsequently wrote that he was shipped to Concordia Parish
Correctional Facility, from Lafourche, on January 12, 2017.
Record Doc. No. 13 at p. 1. He stated that he filled out a
request for medical attention on January 10, 2017 and was
scheduled to see a doctor on January 16, 2017. Id.
Hester asserted that he was “shipped to a DOC
center” while awaiting trial, and he was
“shipped” from Concordia to Catahoula, where he
stayed from January 12 to April 16, 2017. Id. He