APPEALED FROM THE 20th JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
WEST FELICIANIA PARISH, LOUISIANA DOCKET NUMBER 22, 719,
DIVISION B HONORABLE WILLIAM G. CARMICHAEL, JUDGE
U. Grodner Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorney for
Plaintiff/Appellant Troy Templet
Landry Attorney General and Christopher N. Walters Assistant
Attorney General Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorneys for
Defendant/ Appellee State of Louisiana, Department of Public
Safety and Corrections
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD, and CRAIN, JJ.
former inmate filed a tort suit against the State of
Louisiana, Department of Public Safety and Corrections
(DPSC), for injuries he sustained while in prison. DPSC filed
a peremptory exception claiming the former inmate's
claims were prescribed. The district court granted the
exception and dismissed the suit. The former inmate appeals
from the adverse judgment. We affirm in part, reverse in
part, and remand this matter to the district court.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
November 26, 2013, Troy Templet,  an inmate housed at the
Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, was a
member of a crew working on a ferry landing located on prison
property. It was raining that day. While the crew was
unloading angle iron from a trailer, a piece of the iron
struck Mr. Templet, knocking him from the ferry landing into
the Mississippi River below. Mr. Templet received a blow to
his head and lost consciousness. He was retrieved from the
river and received medical treatment for his injuries, which
included head, leg, back, and eye injuries.
Templet was apparently released from prison in January 2014.
On July 5, 2016, Mr. Templet filed this tort suit against
DPSC in the 20th Judicial District Court; he later
amended his petition to add Sgt. Jessie Lofton, the prison
official supervising the work crew at the time of the
accident, but Sgt. Lofton is not a party to this appeal. In
his petition, Mr. Templet essentially alleged that Sgt.
Lofton ordered the work crew to work in unsafe, rainy
conditions on the ferry landing, and that DPSC was
vicariously liable for his actions; he also claimed DPSC
breached its duty to provide a safe workplace when it was
foreseeable that an inmate working in the rain with heavy
equipment would be injured. Alternatively, Mr. Templet
claimed he was repeatedly denied appropriate medical
treatment after the accident.
ultimately filed a prescription exception, claiming Mr.
Templet's tort suit was untimely. According to DPSC, Mr.
Templet was injured on November 26, 2013; he filed an
administrative remedy procedure (ARP) on December 3, 2013,
which suspended the running of prescription on his tort
claim; the administrative process was "completed"
on July 28, 2014, and prescription again began to run; Mr.
Templet had until July 22, 2015 to file his suit; he did not
file his suit until July 5, 2016; hence, his suit was
prescribed. DPSC filed no evidence documenting any of the
dates referenced in its exception. Mr. Templet apparently
filed an opposition to DPSC's exception, but such is not
in the appellate record. He then filed a "Motion to
Supplement," requesting that the court allow him to
supplement his opposition with his own affidavit, to which
two exhibits were attached: his handwritten ARP dated
November 27, 2013, and an unsigned, undated copy of
DPSC's purported "First Step Response Form"
denying his ARP. The district court signed an order, and Mr.
Templet filed the affidavit and attachments into the record.
course, the district court held a hearing on DPSC's
prescription exception. Neither party introduced evidence at
the hearing nor presented argument supporting their
respective positions; the district court orally granted
DPSC's prescription exception from the bench without
explaining the basis for its ruling. On November 19, 2018,
the district court signed a judgment, granting DPSC's
exception and dismissing Mr. Templet's suit with
Templet appeals from the adverse judgment, contending the
district court erred in dismissing his suit as prescribed. He
argues that his affidavit shows that he timely filed his ARP
while in prison, he was released from prison on January 10,
2014, and DPSC did not contact him any time after his
release. He contends there is no evidence that DPSC delivered
its purported July 28, 2014 denial of his ARP to him, and as
such, prescription on his personal injury claim was suspended
when he filed suit.
Louisiana Corrections Administrative Remedy Procedure Act
(CARP), La. R.S. 15:1171-1179, allows DPSC to adopt
administrative remedy procedures to address complaints by an
offender against DPSC that arise while an offender is in
DPSC's custody. See La. R.S. 15:1171A and B. All
complaints, including traditional tort claims seeking
monetary relief, are subject to administrative procedures.
See La. R.S. 15:1172B. An offender shall initiate
his administrative remedies for a delictual (tort) action for
injury within 90 days from the day the injury is sustained.
See La. R.S. 15:1172B(1). Subsequent release from
custody does not excuse an offender from exhausting the
applicable administrative procedure. See La. R.S.
15: 1171D and ...