DALLAS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that administrators and staffers at a Dallas hospital can't be held liable for the death of a psychiatric patient whose case led to an overhaul of procedures and care.

This week's ruling overturns a lower court decision that found former Parkland Memorial Hospital executives and mental-health workers could not invoke government immunity in a civil rights case brought by the family of George Cornell.

The Dallas Morning News reports (http://bit.ly/1OrJHo4 ) Cornell died in 2011 after being restrained.

The case demonstrates the steep legal threshold for plaintiffs trying to prove allegations of abuse or excessive force by officials. Federal and state inspectors had found that Parkland staffers illegally restrained Cornell twice.

Parkland later spent more than $60 million to revamp policies and improve supervision.