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Case Conclusion Date: 10.15.2010
Practice Area: Immigration
Outcome: Judgment for Plaintiff, $813,000.00
Description: Jose Luis Gonzalez vs. United States of America; Case NO. 2:05CV-00269 SWW-JVV. Eastern District, Arkansas (10/15/2010). Plaintiff is awarded $813,000.00 in compensatory damages on his Federal Tort Claims Act claim against the United States through the Bureau of Prisons. Plaintiff was an inmate at a BOP facility, Forrest City, Arkansas during which time he was injured while participating in a prison sanctioned baseball game; he expeditiously sought medical treatment at the prison’s medical facility for his injuries but through a series of negligent acts his condition went undiagnosed and thus untreated for 30 days; when eventually x-rayed it was determined that he suffered a fracture of his tibia and fibula. Surgery was performed at a Memphis, TN hospital. The injuries occurred on July 28, 2004; surgery was performed on August 27, 2004. Plaintiff initiated a series of Bivens actions, FTCA claims and constitutional claims, seeking damages for pain, suffering and disability resulting from the delay in treatment. The United States government filed a series of summary judgment motions throughout the course of litigation, which winnowed the claims to a surviving Bivens action and an FTCA claim. In February of 2010 the Bivens action for deliberate indifference was dismissed through summary judgment; the FTCA claim for negligence survived to trial and thus the proper and only defendant was the United States. The matter wound its way through the administrative and pre-trial process and ultimately was tried to the Honorable United States District Judge on August 30 and 31, 2010. Before trial could commence, Plaintiff completed his sentence and was deported back to his home country. Because of his criminal conviction plaintiff was unable to make entry into the United States and therefore Plaintiff’s counsel traveled to Plaintiff’s home country and took Plaintiff's deposition. Leave was sought and granted for Plaintiff to appear through deposition. Expert medical testimony by Dr. James Keever, M.D. Texarkana, Texas, established legally sufficient negligence, which the Honorable Court found to be gross negligence resulting in permanent disability, pain, suffering and mental anguish. Plaintiff’s counsel exposed questionable and discredited declarations by medical personnel regarding their conduct and medical decisions. The 22 page Memorandum and Order containing the Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law and Order are found on PACER.