NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two Ohio tourists imprisoned for a month on
public drunkenness charges in New Orleans' notorious Orleans Parish Prison in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina may get
$650,000 in damages if a federal appellate court rules in their
Lawyers for Robie Wagenfeald and Paul Kunkel Jr., both of
Toledo, Ohio, argued in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on
Monday that the two friends were falsely imprisoned by Orleans
Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman. The men had asked the jury to award
them more than $1.3 million in damages, claiming they were held
illegally in inhumane conditions after the jail flooded.
A three-judge panel of the appellate court heard arguments in
the case and took the matter under advisement. The judges did not
indicate when they might rule.