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Court Rules For Estate |Of Overheated Inmate

CINCINNATI (CN) - The 6th Circuit affirmed a $4.5 million jury verdict for the estate of a schizophrenic inmate who died from severe dehydration after being held for several days in a 90-degree observation room.

Dr. David Moskowitz, Vaughn's psychiatrist at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich., did not move Vaughn out of the hot room, despite the inmate's cramping, vomiting, confusion and delirium. Vaughn had also sweated profusely and had abnormal vital signs.

The court found that the inmate's estate representative, Antoinette Gibson, was entitled to $1.5 million in actual damages and $3 million in punitive damages on her claims that Moskowitz's deliberate indifference and medical malpractice caused Vaughn's death.

However, the court remanded to let the district court explain its allocation of the actual-damages award between the indifference and malpractice claims.

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