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Jury Awards $6.1M to Family of Man Incarcerated at Rikers Who Died After Botched Heart Surgery

A Bronx jury has awarded a record $6.1 million to the family of a man incarcerated at Rikers Island, who died after a botched heart surgery while in Department of Correction custody.

A three week trial in Bronx Supreme Civil Court ended Tuesday with a jury granting the money award to the family of Juan Francisco Hidalgo Flores. It was the largest medical malpractice judgment that resulted in wrongful death made against Correction Health Services, a division of NYC Health + Hospitals.

Attorney Eliot Wolf, who represented the family, said the city refused to settle and forced the family to trial. Flores died two days after being compassionately released in 2017 following the botched heart surgery while under the care of Correctional Health Services at Bellevue Hospital. He was awaiting trial while held on Rikers Island on drug charges that were later dismissed. “After waiting many years the family of Juan Flores has finally received some justice,” Wolf said after the verdict.


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