Firm News

Thompson Coe Partner Barry Moscowitz and Texarkana Attorney Paul Miller Secure Victory for Private Jail Operator in Section 1983 Case

June 11, 2021 Press Release

On May 6, 2021, an eight-member jury in the United States District Court, Eastern District, Texarkana Division, returned a verdict in favor of LaSalle Corrections regarding a civil lawsuit that sought damages for a man’s claims that he became permanently disabled following a short stay in the Bowie County jail in 2018.  LaSalle Corrections, a private company, managed the Bowie County jail from February 2013 to 2021.  After three days of testimony and less than two hours of deliberation, the jury found that LaSalle did not violate Plaintiff’s constitutional rights under Section 1983 and as a result, no damages were awarded to the Plaintiff. 

Plaintiff William Scott Jones asserted two primary allegations arising to an alleged violation of his constitutional rights; (1) that several unknown and unnamed LaSalle employees “beat” Plaintiff and caused his injuries and/or that (2) LaSalle nursing and medical employees neglected his significant and underlying medical conditions.  Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that LaSalle Corrections employees destroyed video evidence of either the alleged “beating” or the lack of medical or nursing treatment. The jury soundly and decisively rejected all of these allegations. 

Lead counsel for LaSalle Corrections was Paul Miller, of Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby along with his partner, Troy Hornsby.  Approximately two weeks before the trial was set to begin, Thompson Coe partner Barry Moscowitz was asked to join the trial team and assist with the trial. The team was able to conclusively demonstrate at trial that Plaintiff was not beaten during his short stay in the Bowie County jail by most notably getting Plaintiff to admit on the witness stand that he has no recollection of the events while he was in the jail, that he previously “made things up” to get out of jail, and perhaps most importantly, that he “probably made up” the story that he was beaten by guards at the jail.  Further, the team was able to get Plaintiff’s medical expert to admit on the witness stand that his opinions that the jail staff neglected Mr. Jones’ alleged injuries was based on his belief that Plaintiff only had one kidney at the time he was in the jail.  On cross, the Plaintiff’s expert was forced to admit that Mr. Jones actually had two kidneys.”

Thompson Coe wants to congratulate Paul Miller, Troy Hornsby and LaSalle Corrections for this well-deserved victory.  The LaSalle employees who testified also deserve special recognition as they were the face of LaSalle at trial and did so with honor and integrity.

About Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby
Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby is a Texarkana law firm that has been providing comprehensive legal representation to a broad range of clients since first opening their doors in 1966. Their attorneys are licensed in the State and Federal Courts of both Texas and Arkansas and practice in the fields of taxation, estate planning, probate, real estate, family law, criminal law, defense litigation, personal injury, business law, and appellate law.  Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby addresses complex legal problems and litigate difficult disputes.

About LaSalle Corrections
LaSalle Corrections is very proud of its personnel’s depth of corrections experience. They provide safety and security to ensure the well-being of the people in their care. Security operations are supervised by senior management and wardens who often have decades of direct and distinguished experience managing correctional facilities for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  The LaSalle staff positively impact the inmates in their care; many also give back to their community by participating in events helping those in need. They help feed the food insecure, roadside trash pick-up events, participating in blood drives, bike giveaways, and more. LaSalle employees believe in the importance of supporting their community.

About Thompson Coe
Since 1951, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP has built a rich heritage of civil litigation capabilities. With over 200 attorneys in five offices across Texas, Louisiana, and Minnesota, Thompson Coe provides value to its clients through its depth of industry knowledge and breadth of legal experience. As a result, the firm efficiently handles the most critical matters for clients providing exceptional and professional service. Clients choose Thompson Coe for a complete, integrated solution to their litigation needs.  Thompson Coe attorneys are frequently asked by clients to “drop everything and go try the case” on very short notice.  The spectrum of services offered by the firm spans multiple industries and practices, such as Complex and Catastrophic litigation, Products Liability, Professional Liability, Labor & Employment, Construction Law, Transportation, Energy, Marine, and Appellate.  This year, the firm is celebrating its Platinum Anniversary, providing legal expertise for 70 years.