Lawsuit against ousted circuit judge for his handling of negligence case is dismissed


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CONWAY, Arkansas — A lawsuit over a former Central Arkansas circuit judge's handling of a negligence case has been dismissed by Special Judge David Laser, who called his own decision to do so distasteful.

The lawsuit against Michael Maggio was dismissed Friday after Laser ruled Maggio is protected by judicial immunity. Laser said his ruling is "personally distasteful," but said Maggio was performing a judicial function.

Maggio was sued by the family of a woman who died in a nursing home because he reduced a jury award of $5.2 million in a lawsuit against the nursing home to $1 million.

Maggio has since pleaded guilty to bribery for accepting campaign donations from the nursing home owner and a lobbyist in exchange for reducing the award. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Laser said there is some satisfaction in Maggio's removal from the bench and likely jail time.

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