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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Ninth Circuit Denies Immunity for Federal Officials in Case of Immigrant Detainee Neglected in Custody

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The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Oct. 2 that federal officials can be sued for violating the constitutional rights of an immigration detainee who had his penis amputated and later died from penile cancer that was left untreated and undiagnosed while in detention.

This case is typical of the cutting-edge public interest law firm, Public Justice, does for the American people.

Francisco Castaneda

Francisco Castaneda

Public Justice, the national public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit last October against the U.S. government, several federal and California state officials, and a California physician, alleging medical neglect and violations of Francisco Castaneda’s due process and equal protection rights under the Fifth Amendment. The Oct. 2 ruling applies to the federal Public Health Service (PHS) officials who were named in the lawsuit and sought immunity under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

The government had argued that a federal statute makes a lawsuit against the United States the exclusive remedy for illegal actions by the government doctors and other officials, but the appellate court unanimously ruled that federal officials cannot violate the Constitution and avoid accountability.

In a sharp rebuke of the defendants’ claim, the appellate court described former detainee Francisco Castaneda’s ordeal as a “Kafkaesque nightmare” stemming from not only the government’s “alleged deliberate indifference, but also from Castaneda’s state-imposed helplessness in the face of that indifference.” Read the full story and learn about the great work of Public Justice the cutting edge public interest law firm for the people.

Read the Ninth Circuit Court ruling at: