On January 27, 2009, current and former inmates at the Cook County Jail filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County, IL in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Represented by private counsel, plaintiffs sought certification of two sub-classes: "all ...
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On January 27, 2009, current and former inmates at the Cook County Jail filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County, IL in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Represented by private counsel, plaintiffs sought certification of two sub-classes: "all inmates housed at Cook County Department of Corrections on or after January 1, 2007, who have made a written request for dental care because of acute pain and who suffered prolonged and unnecessary pain because of lack of treatment " and "all persons presently confined at the Cook County Jail who are experiencing dental pain and who have waited more than seven days after making a written request for treatment of that pain without having been examined by a dentist." For the first class, plaintiffs sought monetary relief and both monetary and injunctive relief for the second sub-class.
As of the date of this summary, the legal issues of the case have centered around class certification. On November 18, 2010, the judge certified the second class of plaintiffs while denying the first class certification. Other judges in the same district had denied class certification in similar circumstances, and defendants (and the court) cited principles of comity to support denial of certification in this case.
The plaintiffs moved for reconsideration, citing recent Supreme Court caselaw abrogating the notion of comity as precluding certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) class. On August 17, 2011, the judge granted this motion and certified both sub-classes.
The case then went to the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The sole issue on appeal was if a district court, on deciding a motion for class certification, should defer, based on the principles of comity, to a sister courtís ruling of on a motion for certification of a similar case. On June 19, 2012, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district courtís grant of class certification by holding that another federal district judge's rulings on class certification are not preclusive.
The case is ongoing.Renita Khanduja - 06/22/2012