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Kemp v. Balboa

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
23 F.3d 211 (8th Cir. 1994)


Kemp (plaintiff) was a prisoner who was allowed to take epilepsy medication and keep the medicine in his cell. Balboa (defendant), a prison guard, repeatedly confiscated Kemp’s medicine and flushed it down the toilet. As a result, Kemp suffered from epileptic seizures and involuntarily injured himself. Kemp brought suit against Balboa. At trial, Vicki Maness, a nurse at the prison, testified that Kemp had failed to pick up his medicine on a number of occasions. On cross-examination, Maness admitted that she was not working the days Kemp failed to pick up his medicine and that her only knowledge of the frequency with which Kemp picked up his medicine was from Kemp’s medical chart, which she did not fill out. Kemp moved to strike the testimony for lack of personal knowledge. The trial court denied Kemp’s motion. The jury found in favor of Kemp, but only awarded him $1.00 in nominal damages. Kemp appealed.

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