The standard for assessing claims brought by pretrial detainees charging deliberate indifference to health and safety should be the same as that applied to cases of convicted prison inmates who contend that they have suffered cruel and unusual punishment, a federal appellate court has ruled.

Deciding a matter of first impression, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a nurse at the Albany County Correctional Facility, despite her mistaken judgments, could not be held liable for the death of a man while he was in custody because the evidence did not show that she had been aware of an “excessive” risk to the inmate’s health and safety, which she had disregarded.

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