Texas Court Upholds $42.4M Verdict in Prison Death

A Texas appeals court has upheld a multimillion dollar civil verdict against a Florida private prison company in the beating death of an inmate.

The 13th Court of Appeals ruled last week that Wackenhut Corrections Corp., now known as The GEO Group, and Warden David Forrest have to pay $42.5 million to the family of Gregorio de la Rosa Jr.

The company was accused of allowing two inmates to beat de la Rosa with padlocks stuffed in socks. He died in 2001, four days before his expected release from a facility in Raymondville.

A Willacy County jury had ordered the company to pay de la Rosa's family $47.5 million in a 2006 civil judgment. The Brownsville Herald reports that the appeals court reduced the judgment because a family member had died.