A Florida drug informant known as “the Princess” was awarded $1.14 million by a federal judge to cover care for the multiple sclerosis she attributes to a traumatic kidnapping. The judge reasoned the disease could be traced to the Drug Enforcement Administration's failing its duty, McClatchy Newspapers reports. “DEA not only failed to protect (the Princess), but acted with reckless disregard for her safety in light of its intelligence indicating how at risk she was,” said U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams.
In a decision issued under seal Aug. 30, and published in a redacted form last Friday, Williams concluded “the Princess' abduction was a substantial causal factor in the onset of her multiple sclerosis.” Severe stress, doctors testified, can trigger the crippling disease. “The Princess was in normal physical condition before her kidnapping,” Williams wrote, adding that “during her three-month captivity, however, the Princess began to experience severe impairments.” The Justice Department may appeal. It has argued the Princess was subject to many other sources of stress besides the kidnapping, including, Williams noted, “a past abusive husband, a daughter battling drug addiction, divorces, and a failing business.”