University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Haldane v. Hammond PC-WA-0026
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-01810-RAJ-MAT ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On November 17, 2015, four prisoners in Washington state issued a class action suit against the state's Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 for arbitrarily withholding necessary medical care from patients with serious and painful medical conditions. The prisoners, who went ... read more >
On November 17, 2015, four prisoners in Washington state issued a class action suit against the state's Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983 for arbitrarily withholding necessary medical care from patients with serious and painful medical conditions. The prisoners, who went untreated or under-treated for serious ailments -including kidney failure, kidney stones, hernia, and chronic and substantial pain - alleged that the denial of care while incarcerated constituted cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment.

Plaintiffs seek 1) a declaration that the Washington DOC's policies and practices governing the approval of medical care requests by DOC providers and outside specialists violate the Eight Amendment; 2) a preliminary and permanent injunction restraining the DOC from denying, without reasonable medical justification, necessary care for class members' serious medical needs; and 3) reasonable attorney's fees.

The Washington DOC only administers direct medical care for "medically necessary" conditions. All others must be approved by a Department of Corrections Care Review Committee (CRC) consisting of doctors and other medical professionals across the state. Of all petitions for care, about 60% were being denied by the CRC. Specifically, complaints of chronic and substantial pain were being ignored.

As of February 1, 2016, plaintiffs are in discovery for seeking class certification.

Dan Hofman - 02/18/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Untreated pain
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) G. Steven Hammond
Plaintiff Description Individuals incarcerated in the state of Washington who were denied certain kinds of medical diagnosis and treatment by the state Department of Corrections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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)
2:15-cv-01810-RAJ (W.D. Wash.) 02/01/2016
PC-WA-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [class action] 11/17/2015
PC-WA-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Jones, Richard A. (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Nicholas B. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Balson, Hank L. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Ehman, Merf E. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Lee, Melissa R (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Whedbee, David J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Wing, Jesse (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dibble, Candie M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Lang, Timothy Norman (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Williams, Aaron M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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