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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Jury awards $590,600 to ex-inmate who had TB, McCaster

  • The award is half for compensation and half for punitive damages.
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  • A jury has awarded $590,600 to a former Ramsey County inmate who became gravely ill with tuberculosis in custody
    A federal jury determined Monday that public health nurse Mary Clausen was "deliberately indifferent" to the plight of Marchello McCaster, who lost 44 pounds while serving a 56-day sentence in 2008.
    McCaster was coughing and visibly ill, but the county contended he never complained of symptoms indicating TB.
    His attorney, Robert Bennett, tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/Z7FNcw ) the award is half for compensation and half for punitive damages. He says the county will cover it because the nurse was a county employee.
    Ramsey County settled an earlier lawsuit by inmates exposed to McCaster's TB for about $16 million.
    County attorney's office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein says they're disappointed and reviewing their options.

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