NEW ORLEANS – A federal jury in New Orleans has awarded more than $650,000 to two Ohio tourists arrested for public drunkenness and jailed for more than a month in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.
The jury concluded Thursday that Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman falsely imprisoned Robie (RAH'-bee) Waganfeald and Paul Kunkel Jr. They also found that one of Gusman's chief deputies violated their constitutional rights by not allowing them to use a phone.
The men claimed they were illegally held in inhumane conditions after the jail flooded. They asked the jury to award them more than $1.3 million.
A lawyer for Gusman says the sheriff's office did an outstanding job caring for and protecting inmates during the 2005 storm's aftermath.