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Court Revives Florida Doctor’s False-Arrest Case

(CN) - The 11th Circuit reinstated the claims of a Florida doctor who was falsely arrested for prescribing drugs without giving physical examinations.

Andrew Nguyen, a doctor who fled oppression in Vietnam to become a U.S. citizen, was arrested in a Drug Enforcement Agency sting operation in 2000. Insurance companies and pharmacies refused to work with him, and he had to lay off one of his three employees.

However, a sheriff's deputy later admitted that he had never spoken to the informant about whether Nguyen had examined her before prescribing medication.

"The affidavit and arrest warrant were based on a false statement," noted Judge Carnes of the Atlanta-based federal appeals court.

Nguyen sued the federal government for false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

The district court dismissed his claims based on the government's sovereign immunity. Carnes overturned the decision, citing a change Congress made in 1974 to a proviso of the Federal Tort Claims Act.

"The United States has expressly waived its sovereign immunity for the claims listed in the proviso," the judge wrote, "including the claims made in this case."

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