Ana Francolin Dolney obtained a defense verdict in a civil rights case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm. The plaintiff, Jose Garcia, who was incarcerated for life for raping a minor, claimed that the defendant, Dr. Bhadja deliberately violated his right to medical care and treatment relating to his eyes, which is protected by the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Garcia was already blind in his left eye and he was having vision loss issues in his right eye.
The case was reassigned to Cruser & Mitchell from another defense firm, who had prepared and filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Dr. Bhadja which remained pending for almost a year before it was denied. The judge set trial for three months after the order denying the Motion for Summary Judgment was entered. After the case was reassigned, the judge further denied Cruser & Mitchell’s motion to continue trial, and also denied any discovery continuances absent agreement of the parties (the plaintiff’s attorneys would not agree to continuances). Despite the challenges of the case, the 8-person jury came back with a unanimous verdict in favor of Dr. Bhadja, after deliberating for only 40 minutes.