AP: Judge rejects Nebraska’s attempt to block $1M settlement

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)  A federal judge has rejected the state’s attempt to block a $1 million settlement between Lancaster County and a man paralyzed in a county jail cell.

Reports say that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services had sought more than half that settlement to recoup Medicaid payments for Arok Atem’s medical bills.

Atem was arrested in April 2011 after police suspected he was drunk at a hospital. He was later found in his cell with spinal cord fractures. He is now a quadriplegic.        

In rejecting the state health agency’s attempt to recoup more than $500,000, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said Monday that the settlement expressly excluded medical expenses.