Appeals Court: Woman Jailed With Men Can Sue Doctor, Nurse Who ID’d Her as Male

An appeals court is allowing a woman to sue a doctor and a nurse at Miami-Dade Corrections who identified her as male, which led to her incarceration with men at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Veloz Fior de Pichardo flew from her home in the Dominican Republic to Miami in November 2013 for the birth of her grandchild. At the airport, she was arrested on a warrant for a decades-old drug charge she thought had long been dismissed.

Court documents show when Pichardo first got to the jail, she was strip-searched and listed appropriately as a woman.

But at the medical unit, a doctor and a nurse saw that she was on hormone replacement therapy and listed her as "male on hormonal treatment transgender" and that she "could go to the general (male) population."

Pichardo was held for hours with 40 male inmates.

"At that moment what I wanted to do was just to die because I thought that I was going to be raped," Pichardo told NBC 6 through a translator in a previous interview.

The federal appeals court allowed the lawsuit to go forward against the doctor and nurse, saying in part:

"Every reasonable prison officer and medical personnel would have known that wrongfully misclassifying a female as a male inmate and placing that female in the male population of a detention facility is unlawful."

Miami-Dade Corrections told NBC 6 it does not comment on pending litigation.

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