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Thompson v. Geo Group Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

November 14, 2019

BEN THOMPSON
v.
GEO GROUP INC

          KAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          TRIAL OPINION

          JAMES D. CAIN, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 15, 2019, this cause came before the Court as a bench trial, the Honorable Judge James D. Cain, Jr. presiding. The parties have submitted their post-trial briefs as requested and the matter is ripe for decision.

         PARTIES

         Plaintiff, Ben Thompson, was an inmate at Allen Correctional Center (“ACC”) in Kinder, Louisiana when the incident that is the subject of this lawsuit occurred. During that time, the ACC was being operated by Defendant, the GEO Group, Inc. (“GEO”). Thompson is serving a thirty (30) year sentence for armed robbery.

         Thompson was transferred to Elayn Hunt Correctional Facility (“EHCC”) on August 24, 2015.

         THE INCIDENT

         On February 13, 2015, Thompson was in the auxiliary kitchen of ACC when a Styrofoam ceiling tile fell and struck him in the head/neck area. According to Thompson, the Styrofoam tile weighed just over a pound.

         CLAIMS

         Thompson's claimed physical injuries include neck pain, headaches, facial pain, facial numbness, earaches, all over body burning sensation, burning sensations in his feet, urinary problems, burning in his penis, bowel problems, and pain behind his eyes. Thompson is further seeking recovery for his medical expenses that were incurred due to the February 13, 2015 incident.

         WITNESSES

         The only live witness at trial was Thompson. Thompson submitted the deposition testimony of Dr. Samer Shamieh, his treating physician; Dr. Shamieh performed a fusion at ¶ 6-7 on March 28, 2019. GEO submitted the deposition testimony of Dr. Johnathan Roundtree, the staff physician at EHCC who examined and evaluated Thompson at that facility. GEO also submitted the deposition testimony of Dr. John Noble who GEO retained to perform a review of Thompson's treatment records.

         EXHIBITS

         Thompson submitted the following exhibits at trial:

Plaintiff's Exhibit A - Thompson Medical Records from EHCC
Plaintiff's Exhibit B - Thompson Sick Call Form dated 2/13/2015
Plaintiff's Exhibit C - Thompson Medical and Billing records from DISC of Louisiana
Plaintiff's Exhibit D - First Step Response Form
Plaintiff's Exhibit E - Photograph of ceiling tile at ACC
Plaintiff's Exhibit F-Thompson Medical Billings
Plaintiff's Exhibit G-Dr. Samer Shamieh deposition
GEO submitted the following exhibits at trial:
Defendant's Exhibit A - Allen Correctional Administration, Complaint Defendant's Exhibit B - Medical Records from ACC and EHCC
Defendant's Exhibit C - Dr. Noble's Report
Defendant's Exhibit D - Certification page, Conduct Records, La. Dept. of Corrections, EHCC
Defendant's Exhibit D-1 - 08/30/15 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-2 - 5/30/2016 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-3 - 07/11/2016 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-4 - 12/26/2016 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-5 - 09/14/2017 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-6 - 11/11/2017 Incident Report
Defendant's Exhibit D-7 - 05/11/2018 ...

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