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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Not shocked. The Second Circuit has held that workers who performed search, rescue and cleanup services at the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks cannot sue government officials who issued reassuring and knowingly false statements about the air quality in lower Manhattan. In affirming the dismissal of the action, the Second Circuit held that the defendants actions did not shock its conscience even if the defendants acted with deliberate indiference. "When agency officials decide how to reconcile competing governmental obligations in the face of a disaster, only an intent to cause harm arbitrarily can shock the conscience in a way that justifies constitutional liability." Too bad for the poor workers, I guess. (For the record, the panel was Chief Judge Jacobs and Judges Sack and Raggi.

The decision in Lombardi v. Whitman can be found here.

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