Prison Inmate Class Action Allowed to Proceed in Federal Court
A lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 30,000 Arizona prison inmates has been allowed to proceed as a class action by a Federal court judge. The class action lawsuit, filed more than two years ago, has alleged substandard medical care provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections that has led to serious illness and death of inmates in a way that rises to the level of “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Federal constitution.
Attorneys for the Department of Correction had attempted to defeat class action certification by arguing that the nature of these claims would require the court to conduct an individualized inquiry of each specific claim, and thus the claims are not appropriate for class treatment. In rejecting this argument, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, held that rather than focused on individual treatment, the lawsuit arguably involves systemic failures of the Department of Corrections that may have directly led to the substandard medical care and injuries in question.
Specific allegations being brought on behalf of the Arizona inmate population include blatant denials of health care, improper isolation policies, and spending reductions during a two-year period at a time when the inmate population either remained constant or had increased.
If you, or one to whom you are close, have received inadequate medical treatment while an inmate at a penal institution, you are urged to contact a class action lawyer at Audet & Partners, LLP by calling (800) 965-1461, or by completing and submitting our confidential inquiry form on the right side of this page for a free consultation and case evaluation.