On March 6, 1990, a class of inmates infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus ("HIV") filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against the New York Department of Corrections ("DOC") in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, challenging the DOC's delivery of medical, mental health, education, and preventative services. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the Prisoners' Rights Project Legal Aid Society, the New York State Department of Labor, and Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, were seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.
On May 31, 1990, the court (Judge Thomas J. McAvoy) granted class certification to the plaintiffs, and required posting of notice of the class action suit in appropriate places in the state penal institutions, but not individual notice to all current and future inmates. Inmates of New York with Human Immune Deficiency Virus v. Cuomo, No. 90-0252, 1990 WL 73418 (N.D.N.Y. May 31, 1990).
On February 7, 1991, the court (Judge McAvoy) ordered defendants to compile and turn over to plaintiffs statistics detailing the numbers of inmates infected with HIV or believed to have died from AIDS-related causes since 1984. However, the records were to be redacted so as not to include the inmates' names or identification numbers, and the records were to be governed by a protective order to ensure its confidentiality. Inmates of New York with Human Immune Deficiency Virus v. Cuomo, No. 90-0252, 1991 WL 16032 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 1991).
On November 30, 1992, the court (Judge McAvoy), denied defendants' motion for reconsideration of an order which required them to produce medical quality assurance documents, but stayed the order pending a determination by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Inmates of New York with Human Immune Deficiency Virus v. Cuomo, No. 90-0252, 1992 WL 373516 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 30, 1992). It is unclear from the docket on PACER whether the Second Circuit ruled on this issue.
The docket indicates that on October 13, 1994, the parties stipulated that the case was complex in nature and that they were each exempted from completing discovery and commencing trial within eighteen months. Rather, each party was directed to file a status report with the court every four months. Subsequent entries on PACER address other procedural/discovery matters. On Februrary 17, 2005 the court (Judge Gary L. Sharpe) required the parties to submit a joint status report to the court within thirty days, because the discovery deadline set by the parties had expired (the parties agreed on March 25, 2002, that discovery should be completed on or before May 1, 2004).
On August 24, 2007, the parties filed a settlement agreement for approval and a motion to stipulate dismissal. The settlement was approved and the dismissal was granted by the court (Judge Sharpe) on August 28, 2007. The settlement set out under what conditions inmates must be referred to HIV specialists and what qualifications HIV specialists are to have, and prison staff were ordered to undergo HIV sensitivity training. It also granted monetary damages and attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs.Megan Raynor - 03/25/2006
Katherine Reineck - 01/30/2016