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Case Name Todaro v. Ward PC-NY-0036
Docket / Court 74-4581 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1974, female inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New York State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid ... read more >
In 1974, female inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New York State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequate medical care at the prison.

On April 25, 1977, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Robert J. Ward) granted declaratory and injunctive relief to the plaintiffs, holding that the medical care at the prison was constitutionally inadequate. Todaro v. Ward, 431 F.Supp. 1129 (S.D.N.Y. 1977). The defendants appealed. On October 31, 1977, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Irving R. Kaufman) affirmed the district court's judgment. Todaro v. Ward, 565 F.2d 48 (2nd Cir. 1977).

In 1980, following the plaintiffs' filing of motions for contempt for noncompliance with the judgment, the District Court appointed Dr. Frank Rundle, a physician and psychiatrist, to monitor the defendants' compliance. His appointment was affirmed by the Second Circuit on February 20, 1981. Todaro v. Coughlin, No. 81-2001, 652 F.2d 54 (2nd Cir. 1981).

On September 14, 1988, the plaintiffs asked the District Court to hold the defendants in contempt of the judgment and to modify the judgment to ensure that the defendants complied with it. On August 18, 1989, the District Court modified the judgment pursuant to an agreement reached between the parties. On October 1, 1993, the parties stipulated to further modifications to the judgment, making changes in the areas of sick call, physical referral procedures, implementation and tracking of physician orders, specialty care, chronically ill care, staffing, record keeping, aids care procedures, and restraints during medical trips.

On October 1, 2002, the District Court (Judge Ward) entered a stipulated judgment which specified that monitoring of the prisons would end on September 1, 2004. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 11/10/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York State Department of Correctional Services
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1977 - 2004
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 04/25/1977 (431 F.Supp. 1129) (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 10/31/1977 (565 F.2d 48)
PC-NY-0036-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/20/1981 (652 F.2d 54)
PC-NY-0036-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Stipulation and Order: Second Modified Judgment 10/01/1993 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0002 PDF | Detail
Stipulation and Order 10/01/2002 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Gurfein, Murray Irwin (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0003
Kaufman, Irving Robert (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0003
Meskill, Thomas Joseph (Second Circuit)
PC-NY-0036-0003
Ward, Robert Joseph (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0036-0001 | PC-NY-0036-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Freeman, Lisa (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0002
Greenberg, Daniel L. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0001
Hellerstein, William E. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003
Lewis, Dori A. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0001 | PC-NY-0036-0002
Neisser, Eric (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003 | PC-NY-0036-0004
Richmond, Warren H. III (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0004
Weinstein, Philip L. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0002
Winner, Ellen J. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003 | PC-NY-0036-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Abrams, Robert W. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0002
Dell, Lisa R. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0002
Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003
Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003 | PC-NY-0036-0004
Silverman, Arlene R. (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0003 | PC-NY-0036-0004
Spitzer, Eliot (New York)
PC-NY-0036-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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