Thursday, October 6, 2011

Suit: Detained Woman Forced To Listen To Rush Limbaugh

Updated 09:14 p.m., Wednesday, October 5, 2011 
        Talk about your Monday from hell. Not only did Bridgett Nickerson Boyd's car break down on her way to work, but when she pulled over to the side of the freeway, a sheriff's deputy named Mark Goad pulled behind her, wrote her a ticket for driving on the shoulder, decided to arrest her, followed her to the hospital when her suddenly racing heart prompted a call to paramedics, then took her into custody again after she was treated by doctors and finally drove her to jail.

           To make matters worse, Boyd claims in a lawsuit that the handcuffs were put on her wrists painfully tight and that she was forced to listen to conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh "make derogatory comments about black people" all the way to the jail. Boyd is African-American.

             Because of the incident, which occurred on Oct. 4, 2010, Boyd filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Goad and Harris County alleging defamation, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

        "Deputy Goad was aware that Boyd had not committed a crime and her arrest was without probable cause," according to the lawsuit filed in Houston.

      The magistrate who saw her while jailed apparently agreed and dismissed all charges.

             A spokesman for Sheriff Adrian Garcia declined to comment on the lawsuit.

           Boyd's attorney, Troy Pradia, said she thought the deputy had pulled up behind her car to help her. She had moved to the shoulder along Beltway 8 near Texas 288 after her engine started smoking.

         Pradia added that he and Boyd had hoped the matter would be settled by the sheriff's department after she filed a complaint.


The preceding is posted for entertainment value only.  There is no intention of making any sort of political point.  

As a lawyer, I noted with interest the relation of the incident date and lawsuit filing date; I'm always fascinated by litigation filings that occur a hair's-breadth prior to the expiration of the relevant statute of limitations, which in this case is the one applicable to the commission of intentional torts in Texas.

False imprisonment, malicious prosecution, etc., are terrible things, and in view of the prior dismissal of charges by the Texas magistrate, I would imagine that Ms. Boyd has some kind of settlement in the offing.  

Complaining about exposure to a radio broadcast -- any radio broadcast -- however, is incredibly stupid,  and reminds me of that scene in Woody Allen's "Bananas" where a political prisoner suffers the unbearable torture of being forced to listen to Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy perform operetta.  Attorney Pradia should be ashamed.  It is buffoonish pleading and brings disrepute onto our shared profession.

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