Experience

Fifth Circuit Decision Secured In Civil Rights Case

Medical professional's crossed arms

Dallas partner John Ross, obtained a favorable decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of his clients, El Paso Hospital District and two of its nurses, on civil rights, constitutional, and Texas statutory tort claims. The Plaintiff brought action against state medical staff for performing several examinations at the behest of border agents, on the suspicion of smuggling drugs. Despite some difficult facts, the court held that the doctors and nurses did not violate clearly established law. The Fifth Circuit affirmed that ‘medical staff do not have to establish their own, independent reasonable suspicion to justify a search requested by law enforcement’, and the court subsequently dismissed all claims.

The case is Bustillos v. El Paso County Hospital District, et al., 226 F.Supp.3d 778 (W.D. Tex. 2016), affirmed, 891 F.3d 214 (5th Cir. 2018).