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CCA Settles Wackenhut Transport Accident Suit for $200,000

Jose Sandoval, an illegal immigrant who suffered injuries to his arm and spinal column in an automobile accident after his arrest by the Border Patrol, has received a $200,000 settlement from the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). CCA had subcontracted its transportation needs to the security firm of Wackenhut. Both CCA and Wackenhut are major players in today’s big-business world of privatized prisons.

A carpenter by training, Sandoval had come to this country to work in construction. Although a resident of Baja, California, he was arrested (in March 2008) in Yuma, Arizona. At the request of the Department of Homeland Security, he was being transported to Florence, Arizona in a van, along with five other detained aliens. When a flat tire caused the driver to lose control, the van rolled over, injuring Sandoval and causing him to be hospitalized. Notwithstanding the care he received at the hospital, Sandoval was in precarious health when he was later deported to Mexico. He got additional medical care after getting in touch with the Mexican consulate. The consulate, in turn, contacted an attorney, who ultimately filed suit in federal court on Sandoval’s behalf. After seven months, the case settled with Sandoval receiving $80,000 personally and the rest of the settlement going towards his medical and legal fees.

With metal pins having been inserted in various places in his body, Sandoval still suffers from back pain. He will no longer be able to work in the construction field.

Sandoval was represented by Yuma attorney Candy Camarena, along with attorney Virginia Zazueta.

Source: Cesar Neyoy, Bajo El Sol, 2/7/09.

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