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 ...
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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