Inmate’s civil-rights swimsuit rejected

LITTLE ROCK – The St. Louis 8th County Appeals Court on Tuesday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by a state prisoner against a Jefferson County prison guard he and three other inmates while prison guards suppressed a disturbance.

Earl Hall, 52, who is serving 25 years at the Tucker unit following a burglary in 2018, said in court records he had high blood pressure and passed out after being sick from pepper spray. Hall said the incident occurred on December 18, 2018, while he was being held on parole and on pre-trial detention on a new criminal charge when another inmate caused a disturbance during the “pill call” that led to the altercation.

Hall said Tracy Taylor, a prison worker, sprayed three doses of the chemical into his cell and later repeatedly hit him in the back with a wheelchair while he passed out from the effects of the pepper spray on the floor.

Hall said in the complaint that he was later taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center for heart problems related to his high blood pressure.

In the lawsuit, Hall sought punitive damages and damages under the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

On September 17, after a three-day trial in federal court in Little Rock, U.S. Judge Beth Deere dismissed Hall’s lawsuit with prejudice, preventing him from re-initiating the lawsuit on the same grounds and Taylor and that there was no other evidence to back it up admitted that Taylor intended to harm Hall.

In a unanimous decision, the three-judge appeals court approved Deere’s decision on Tuesday, stating that there could be no meaningful review of Hall’s challenge because he had failed to provide a transcript of the legal proceedings.

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