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