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Court blocks widow from collecting $5M

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/01/16 17:29

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the widow of a man who died in a Texas jail from pursuing a $5 million jury verdict.

The court without comment declined to consider the appeal of Jessie Dorado, whose husband died in an El Paso jail after being denied medication to control seizures. Eduardo Miranda, a Mexican national, was a physician who was arrested in 1997 on a two-year-old drunk driving charge. He died 74 hours later.

Miranda lived legally in El Paso, but practiced medicine in Juarez, Mexico.

His family invoked a federal civil rights law authorizing suits against state and local government officials who violate a person's constitutional rights. A jury awarded Dorado $5 million after deciding that the jail's doctor knew of Miranda's medical needs and failed to minister to him.

A Texas appeals court threw out the verdict. The court said the jail doctor had not acted with deliberate indifference. The appeals court also said Miranda's lawyers presented little evidence that the jail doctor set policy at the facility, a threshold plaintiffs often must cross in civil rights lawsuits against government officials.


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