Monday, March 27, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Immigrant MD Can Sue Over Alleged False Arrest

ATLANTA (CN) - The 11th Circuit allowed a Vietnamese doctor who recently became a U.S. citizen to pursue his lawsuit against the federal government for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Dr. Andrew Ngyuen had been injured in the Vietnam War and helped 81 of his countrymen flee Community rule on an old boat that finally landed in Thailand after four days.

After practicing medicine in Florida for 16 years, Nguyen was suddenly arrested without explanation as a Drug Enforcement Agency agent removed a certificate from the wall that authorized Nguyen to prescribe drugs.

The charges that Nguyen had unlawfully prescribed drugs without conducting a medical examination were dropped, but the damage to his business had been done.

He lost patients and insurance companies, and he was not able to prescribe medicine. His arrest made the headlines of his local paper.

"All the evidence that law enforcement officers had then, as well as now, showed that he was guilty of no crime," Judge Carnes noted. "They arrested him anyway."

Carnes ruled that the District Court should not have dismissed Nguyen's claims against the federal government.

"The United States has waived its sovereign immunity claims for false imprisonment, false arrest and malicious prosecution," the judge wrote.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.