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Chinese woman awarded $461K over run-in with US border agent

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Chinese businesswoman who sued the U.S. government after being injured during a confrontation with American border agents in 2004.

Following a non-jury trial in Rochester, Judge Elizabeth Wolford awarded Zhao Yan $461,000 for false arrest, medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost earnings. Her 2006 civil rights lawsuit sought $10 million in damages.

Wolford's ruling Monday found the government liable for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent's handling of Zhao at the Rainbow Bridge U.S.-Canada border crossing in Niagara Falls.

The government had contended Zhao's black eye and other injuries were her own fault because she ran from officers then struggled as they restrained her.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and Zhao's lawyers haven't responded to requests for comment.

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