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October 9, 2009 - Blinded Clinic Worker Gets $5.5 Million from Suit

A woman who was blinded while a health clinic worker in King County, Wash., will receive $5.5 million as part of a civil lawsuit settlement, her lawyers say.

Attorney Jack Connelly, who represents Maritza Dowe, said the Community Psychiatric Clinic based in Seattle failed to appropriately protect his client July 17, 2006, when a schizophrenic client stabbed Dowe repeatedly, The Seattle Times said Friday.

The 2006 attack by the clinic client Marilyn Walker, who had a history of assault, left Dowe blind in one eye and with limited vision in the other.

Connelly alleged staff at the local non-profit agency where Dowe worked had failed to properly monitor Walker's medication levels and review the patient's records.

The attack led to Dowe's family filing a civil suit that had been scheduled to go before King County Superior Court next Monday.

The Times said the clinic avoided the trial date by reaching a $6 million settlement this week with $5.5 million going to Dowe, now 52, and $500,000 going to Ramona Garza, another clinic worker who claimed to suffer post traumatic stress disorder due to the 2006 incident.

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