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Case Name Scott v. Clarke PC-VA-0017
Docket / Court 3:12-cv-00036 ( W.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On July 24, 2012, prisoners detained at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women ("FCCW") filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201, against the Virginia Department of Corrections ("DOC") and ... read more >
On July 24, 2012, prisoners detained at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women ("FCCW") filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201, against the Virginia Department of Corrections ("DOC") and Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc. ("Armor"). The plaintiffs, represented by Legal Aid Justice Center, Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and private counsel, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they were provided insufficient medical care, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Armor, a for-profit corporation, provided health care at FCCW. The DOC contracted with Armor to provide this service, but the DOC remained responsible for administration and oversight of the contract. The plaintiffs claimed that the DOC and Armor were deliberately indifferent to prisoners' medical needs. The plaintiffs alleged that deviations from the accepted and appropriate standard of care were attributable to Armor's desire to maximize corporate profits. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that, in order to minimize costs, Armor employed licensed practical nurses rather than physicians or registered nurses; failed to devote time and attention to examine and diagnose potentially serious medical problems; refused to refer prisoners for needed specialized care; failed to carry out specialists' prescribed courses of treatment; and refused to provide prisoners with medication for severe, chronic pain. Plaintiffs also claimed that FCCW deviated from the accepted and appropriate standard of care on the basis of purported security concerns devoid of any legitimate penological justification. As a result, plaintiffs asserted that they, and others similarly situated, experienced physical pain, mental anguish, and the possibility of premature death.

On December 11, 2012, Judge Norman Moon denied the DOC defendants' motion to dismiss, which asserted that they were not personally involved in denying adequate medical care and could not be held liable on a respondeat superior theory. 2012 WL 6151967. On October 4, 2013, Judge Moon granted Armor's motion to dismiss noting that, because Armor's contract with the DOC had expired, and because Corizon Health, Inc. ("Corizon") (which had formerly been the contractual provider of medical services at FCCW) had assumed the contract to provide medical services at FCCW, plaintiffs' claims against Armor should be denied as moot.

From 2013 to 2015, the parties engaged in extensive and contentious discovery in preparation for trial scheduled in December 2015. The court issued multiple opinions regarding discovery issues during this period. Those opinions are posted in the document section of this case.

On November 20, 2014, Judge Moon granted the plaintiffs' motion and certified a class of all women who currently reside or will in the future reside at FCCW and who have sought, are currently seeking, or will seek medical care for serious medical need. 2014 WL 6609087. On November 25, 2014, Judge Moon granted plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment, stating that defendants possess a non-delegable constitutional duty to provide adequate medical treatment, and that plaintiffs' specific health problems and conditions constitute serious medical needs; deliberate indifference to them is therefore proscribed by the Eighth Amendment. 2014 WL 6680691.

That same day, the parties informed the Court that they had reached a settlement in principle. On April 21, 2015, upon a request by the Court for a status update, the parties informed the Court that a formal written settlement was still in progress but the parties had agreed that constitutionally appropriate care was required and progress toward that goal was underway under the supervision of a mutually agreed upon monitor who will make periodic evaluations of the standard of care of Defendant.

The settlement began as a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) regarding the substance and content of the Settlement, which also set out a process for reaching a final agreement. A final, fully-executed Settlement Agreement, with Appendices and Exhibits, were submitted to the Court on September 15, 2015. This the Court preliminarily approved on September 16, 2015. Notice of the proposed settlement and class members’ right to object was distributed to each prisoner housed at FCCW. The Court then conducted a Fairness Hearing on November 9, 2015, receiving evidence and testimony to evaluate whether the settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. In an opinion dated February 5, 2016, Judge Moon approved the settlement, finding both that it satisfied Rule 23 and also the limitations on prospective relief in the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. 3626(a). 2016 WL 452164.

The settlement provided for comprehensive changes to the medical care system at the prison, and a monitor to oversee implementation. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the agreement. The agreement would last at least three years. After that, it would end when the Compliance Monitor found that DOC had provided medical care that was constitutionally adequate on a consistent basis for at least one year. In addition, the state paid $1.5 million in fees to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

Nate West - 12/01/2014
Sarah Prout - 09/17/2015
Jessica Kincaid - 04/09/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Virginia Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All women who currently reside or will in the future reside at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and who have sought, are currently seeking, or will seek medical care for serious medical need
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
3:12−cv−00036 (W.D. Va.) 03/16/2016
PC-VA-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Press Release 07/24/2012
PC-VA-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 07/24/2012 (2012 WL 5206799)
PC-VA-0017-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum Opinion 12/11/2012 (2012 WL 6151967) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/11/2012 (2012 WL 6178171) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 02/06/2013
PC-VA-0017-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 07/15/2013
PC-VA-0017-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 10/04/2013 (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 11/15/2013 (2013 WL 6047611) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 11/25/2013 (2013 WL 6158458) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 04/15/2014 (2014 WL 1463755) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 07/28/2014 (2014 WL 3734327) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 10/22/2014 (2014 WL 5386882) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 11/20/2014 (2014 WL 6609087) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 11/25/2014 (2014 WL 6680691) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report Regarding Settlement 04/21/2015
PC-VA-0017-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Consent Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement 09/15/2015
PC-VA-0017-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Settlement Agreement 09/15/2015
PC-VA-0017-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting the Plaintiffs' Consent Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement 09/16/2015 (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 02/05/2016 (2016 WL 452164) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moon, Norman K. (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0003 | PC-VA-0017-0004 | PC-VA-0017-0007 | PC-VA-0017-0008 | PC-VA-0017-0009 | PC-VA-0017-0010 | PC-VA-0017-0011 | PC-VA-0017-0012 | PC-VA-0017-0014 | PC-VA-0017-0015 | PC-VA-0017-0017 | PC-VA-0017-0020 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Castaneda, Brenda Erin (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Charlton, Mary Frances (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-9000
Ciolfi, Angela A. (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Corcoran, Debra Desmore (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-9000
Finkenstadt, Ivy (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Fornaci, Phillip Jerome (District of Columbia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Gulotta, Alex Ross (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Howard, Theodore Augustus (District of Columbia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Mincberg, Elliot M. (District of Columbia)
PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019
Rolla, Kimberly Anne (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-9000
Trodden, Erin Margaret (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Turner, Abigail (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Walters, Amy Elizabeth (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chang, Phillip C. (District of Columbia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Daniel, Kevin James (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Dwyre, Kate Elizabeth (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Isaacs, James Milburn Jr. (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
McNelis, Edward J. III (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Miller, Amy Elizabeth (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-9000
Muldowney, Elizabeth Martin (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Parsons, John Michael (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Vorhis, Richard Carson (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Wilburn, John David (Virginia)
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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