University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Davis v. Roberts JC-FL-0010
Docket / Court 8:96-cv-00682-SCB ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1975, litigation was initiated in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida to challenge the conditions of the Pinellas County Jail. The case, styled Davis v. Roberts, resulted in the Jail being placed under the oversight of the Court to rectify various constitutional violations., ... read more >
In 1975, litigation was initiated in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida to challenge the conditions of the Pinellas County Jail. The case, styled Davis v. Roberts, resulted in the Jail being placed under the oversight of the Court to rectify various constitutional violations., The Court appointed a monitor to review the conditions of the jail and to submit annual reports on the Jail's compliance. Dr. Linda Smith, who served as monitor during 1993 and 1994, issued a report noting pervasive problems with the Jail, especially with regards to its lack of proper medical facilities and treatment. Dr. Smith was especially troubled by the substandard medical care provided to female inmates.

Late in the evening of March 6, 1994, Diane Nelson entered the Pinellas County Jail as a pre-trial detainee. Ms. Nelson had a history of suffering a heart attack and was on cardiac medication. The Jail staff failed to provide her medication and her condition deteriorated over several days until she eventually collapsed and died. In 1996, a suit for the wrongful death of MS. Nelson was filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida against Pinellas County, Florida, the Sheriff, Prison Health Services, and nurses employed by Prison Health Services for medical malpractice and constitutional violations In 1997, the District Court (Judge Susan C. Bucklew) held that the Sheriff was protected from individual liability under qualified immunity doctrine and denied nurses' and Prison Health Service's motions for summary judgment. Nelson v. Prison Health Serv., Inc., 991 F. Supp. 1452 (M.D. Fla. 1997). According to the docket from PACER, after litigation and mediation, the parties negotiated a stipulation in 1998, and the court approved the settlement and issued a Consent Decree.

Lauren Cutson - 05/25/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
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) Pinellas County Jail
Plaintiff Description Personal representative of inmate who died of acute myocardial infarction while awaiting trial in county jail alleging medical malpractice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1975 - 1998
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
96-682 (M.D. Fla.) 08/25/1998
JC-FL-0010-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 12/30/1997 (991 F.Supp. 1452) (M.D. Fla.)
JC-FL-0010-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bucklew, Susan C. (M.D. Fla.)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers DeVito, Sabato P. Jr. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Scully, Charles R. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bavol, Charles D. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Carson, Wallis M. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Santa Lucia, Robert A. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Williams, James Orrin Jr. (Florida)
JC-FL-0010-0001 | JC-FL-0010-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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