University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Brash v. Wexford Health Source, Inc. PC-FL-0012
Docket / Court 2:02-cv-14331-JCP ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On December 6, 2002, a prisoner in Florida's Okeechobee Correctional Institution (OCI), represented by counsel from the Florida Justice Institute, sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of Florida, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that his Eighth Amendment right to be free ... read more >
On December 6, 2002, a prisoner in Florida's Okeechobee Correctional Institution (OCI), represented by counsel from the Florida Justice Institute, sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Of Florida, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that his Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment was being violated by the defendants' failure to provide him appropriate medical care. The lead defendant was Florida's contract medical service provider for OCI; also named as defendants were associated state and corporate individuals overseeing the contract medical provider's conduct. The plaintiff alleged that he had been treated elsewhere in the Florida prison system for his Hepatitis-C and cirrhosis but, upon being transferred to OCI, the medically-indicated treatments halted and solely for cost-saving reasons, according to plaintiff. Needing Interferon and Ribavirin treatments for his condition, he sought injunctive relief and attorneys' fees.

At the same time he filed his complaint, the plaintiff also sought, via motion, a preliminary injunction to require the defendants arrange that a gastroenterologist consult with plaintiff and provide the requested FDA-approved treatment regimen. On January 15, 2003, the defense opposition to the motion stated that the matter arose from a difference of opinion between doctors about medical care and was not a matter of deliberate indifference to plaintiff's medical needs. The plaintiff's February 17, 2003, sought to convince the court that the medical opinions cited in the defense opposition document were not reliable and self-serving, compared to the plaintiff's medical experts' opinions.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch, Jr., recommended on March 4, 2003, to the District Judge that the motion for preliminary injunction be denied but, on April 28, 2003, U.S. District Judge James C. Paine reversed the magistrate's recommendation and issued the requested injunctive relief. Judge Paine ruled that plaintiff had sufficiently shown a substantial threat of irreparable injury and a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits of his Eighth Amendment claim. These orders were unpublished, as was Judge Paine's July 24, 2003, order making permanent the preliminary injunction, requiring the Interferon and Ribavirin treatments, and directing the parties to attempt to resolve the attorneys' fee issues within ninety days.

On November 18, 2003, plaintiff's counsel filed a notice with the court that a settlement had been reached with the defendant on the matter of attorney fee payment. Specifics were not provided. On January 12, 2004, Judge Paine directed the court clerk to close the case, but reserved jurisdiction to enforce the previously-entered injunction. Accordingly, the case was closed.

Mike Fagan - 04/14/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Medical/Mental Health
Hepatitis
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Florida Department of Corrections
Wexford Health Source, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Florida state inmate infected with Hepatitis C and suffering from cirrhosis, who sought retreatment with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:02-cv-14331-JCP (S.D. Fla.) 06/10/2004
PC-FL-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint 12/06/2002
PC-FL-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Motion for Preliminary Injunction with Incorporated Memorandum of Law 12/06/2002
PC-FL-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Defendants' Wexford Health Sources, Inc and David Rowe's Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Motion for a Prompt Hearing 01/15/2003
PC-FL-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's Reply Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Responses to Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction 02/17/2003
PC-FL-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Order 04/29/2003 (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Order 07/24/2003 (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's Notice of Settlement of Attorneys' Fees 11/18/2003
PC-FL-0012-0007.pdf | Detail
Judges Lynch, Frank J. Jr. (S.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
PC-FL-0012-0003
Paine, James Carriger (S.D. Fla.)
PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berg, Randall Challen Jr. (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0001 | PC-FL-0012-0002 | PC-FL-0012-0003 | PC-FL-0012-0004 | PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-0007 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Siegel, Peter Michael (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0001 | PC-FL-0012-0002 | PC-FL-0012-0004 | PC-FL-0012-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Chusid, Mitchel (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0002 | PC-FL-0012-0003 | PC-FL-0012-0004 | PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Martin, Valerie Jo (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0003 | PC-FL-0012-0004 | PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-0007 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Patrissi, Patrick (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Sharon, Lynn Eileen (Florida)
PC-FL-0012-0006 | PC-FL-0012-0007 | PC-FL-0012-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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