A federal judge on Thursday ordered Metro to pay attorney fees as well as costs and expenses to the tune of $1.1 million in the case of Juana Villegas.
U.S. District Judge William Haynes Jr. awarded the money by granting a motion previously filed by Villegas, the immigrant woman whose name made headlines after she was arrested during a July 2008 traffic stop and days later was shackled to a hospital bed during labor and shortly after giving birth to her son.
A breakdown of the money awarded, shows about $1.06 million in attorneys fees and $82,000 in costs went to Sherrard & Roe while immigration attorney Elliot Ozment claimed $37,000 in fees and $2,300 in costs.
The case quickly became a high-profile one with undertones of immigration policy and focus on the sheriff’s office’s participation of the federal 287(g).
In April 2011, Haynes ruled that Davidson County Sheriff’s Office deputies violated Villegas’ rights when they shackled her before and after childbirth.
Four months later, jury members awarded Villegas $200,000 in compensation. She had sought $1.2 million.
Metro’s appeal of Haynes’ decision brought allegations from the city’s attorneys that the federal judge showed a “pattern of unjustified animosity toward” Metro during the trial and has a “history of an adversarial relationship with Metro attorneys.”
That appeal is still pending before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.