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Case Name Scott v. Clarke PC-VA-0017
Docket / Court 3:12-cv-00036 ( W.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Southern Poverty Law Center
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
Prisoners detained at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women filed this class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections and Armor Correctional Health Services on July 24, 2012. Brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §2201, the suit was filed in the United States ... read more >
Prisoners detained at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women filed this class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections and Armor Correctional Health Services on July 24, 2012. Brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §2201, the suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and assigned to Judge Norman Moon. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Justice Center, the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, they claimed that the prison provided insufficient medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Armor, a for-profit corporation, provided health care at the prison. The Department of Corrections contracted with Armor to provide this service, but the Department remained responsible for administration and oversight. The plaintiffs claimed that the Department and Armor were deliberately indifferent to prisoners’ medical needs, and that Armor’s profit motives led to deviations from accepted standards of care. In order to minimize costs, Armor employed licensed practical nurses rather than physicians or registered nurses; failed to devote time and attention to examining and diagnosing potentially serious medical problems; refused to refer prisoners for specialized care; failed to carry out treatments prescribed by specialists; and refused to provide prisoners with medication for severe chronic pain. The plaintiffs also claimed that the prison deviated from accepted standards of care on the basis of purported security concerns, devoid of any legitimate penological justification. They claimed that as a result, they and others similarly situated experienced physical pain, mental anguish, and the risk of premature death.

The Department moved to be dismissed as a defendant, arguing that Armor, not the Department, provided medical services, and that the Department could not be held liable on a theory of respondeat superior. On December 11, 2012, the court denied the Department’s motion. 2012 WL 6151967. 10 months later, on October 4, 2013, the court granted Armor’s motion to dismiss because Armor’s contract with the Department had expired. Corizon Health, which had assumed the contract to provide medical services at the prison, was subsequently named as a defendant.

From 2013 to 2015, the parties engaged in extensive and contentious discovery in preparation for trial scheduled in December 2015. The court issued multiple discovery-related opinions, which are posted in the “Documents” section of this case.

On November 20, 2014, the court granted class certification, certifying a class of all women who then resided or would in the future reside at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and who had sought, were then seeking, or would in the future seek medical care for serious medical need. 2014 WL 6609087. Five days later, on November 25, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, stating that prison officials had a non-delegable constitutional duty to provide adequate medical treatment, that the plaintiffs’ specific health conditions constituted serious medical needs, and that deliberate indifference to those needs was a violation of the Eighth Amendment. 2014 WL 6680691.

The same day, the parties informed the court that they had reached a settlement in principle. The parties informed the court on April 21, 2015 that though a formal written settlement was still in progress, they had agreed that constitutionally appropriate care was required.

A final settle agreement was submitted to the court on September 15, 2015; the court gave preliminary approval the following day. Notice of the proposed settlement was distributed to each prisoner at the prison. The court conducted a fairness hearing on November 9, 2015. On February 5, 2016, the court approved the settlement. 2016 WL 452164.

The settlement agreement provided for comprehensive changes to the medical care system at the prison, and a monitor to oversee implementation. The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the agreement, which would last at least three years. After three years, the agreement would terminate when the monitor found that the Department had provided constitutionally adequate medical care on a consistent basis for at least one year. The agreement also required the state to pay $1.5 million for plaintiff attorneys’ fees.

On September 5, 2017, the plaintiffs sought for the court to hold the defendants in contempt, for repeatedly falling short of their obligations regarding the quantity and quality of medical provided in the prison. On June 12, 2018, the court ordered the defendants to show cause why they should not be held in contempt.

The court entered an injunction against the defendants on January 2, 2019, explaining that they were in violation of the settlement agreement’s terms requiring them to provide constitutionally adequate medical care to the plaintiffs. The injunction was meant to remedy the violation of the plaintiffs’ Eighth Amendment rights as provided for by the parties in the agreement, and this injunction was the least intrusive means necessary to do so. The injunction required the defendants, within 45 days, to give the prison’s nurses training necessary to give adequate medical care. The court also withdrew its June 12 show-cause order regarding contempt.

On January 30, 2019, the defendants moved to alter the injunction. They claimed, among other things, that only pharmacists and physicians (not nurses) could dispense medication, and that the injunction had essentially rewritten the settlement agreement. The court granted the defendants’ motion, in part, on May 22, 2019. 391 F.Supp.3d 610. The defendants appealed this partial modification (Fourth Circuit docket number 19-1687), and the plaintiffs cross-appealed (Fourth Circuit docket number 19-1719). As of July 2020, the appeals are pending.

Prior to the district court’s ruling, on April 30, 2019, an individual plaintiff filed an emergency motion to enforce the injunction: the prison’s “continued and demonstrated failures to appropriate[ly] manage [her] medication” were a threat to her life. While this motion was pending, she died, 3 months before her scheduled release.

On September 17, 2019, the court directed the parties to schedule a status conference “to address any current actions requested from the Court, and any then-pending motions before the Court” except for the plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees. After participating in the status conference, the plaintiffs filed a status report on October 23, 2019. The report, among other things, asked the court to order that “Counsel for the Parties along with FCCW medical personnel shall meet regularly to attempt to resolve any issues concerning patient care at FCCW,” and “Defendants shall not unreasonably withhold information regarding patient issues raised by Plaintiffs.”

At the status hearing on October 30, 2019, the court ordered the plaintiffs to name remaining systemic issues of noncompliance at the prison that must be remedied in order to bring the prison into compliance with the settlement agreement in the next status report. On November 5, 2019, the court issued an oral order that plaintiffs address the “need for a functional Continuing Quality Improvement (CQI) program directed by a qualified expert at the [prison], as well as Plaintiffs’ ongoing need for further relief requested in part in their October 23, 2019 Status Report.” The plaintiffs addressed both issues in the status report filed on January 2, 2020. Along with the status report, the plaintiffs filed a motion for further relief, outlining the defendants’ violations of the settlement and injunction and requesting the court to order various steps to “ameliorate barriers to effective, accurate monitoring and cooperative problem-solving between the parties.”

The plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement on March 5, 2020. Although the settlement agreement entitled the plaintiffs to quarterly reports from the prison regarding its compliance with the terms of the agreement, and although the plaintiffs had made repeated requests for such reports, the prison failed to provide adequate information. The plaintiffs also sought attorneys’ fees and costs for filing this motion.

On March 16, 2020, the court granted in part the plaintiffs’ requests made in status reports as well as their motion for further relief. Among other things, the court granted the plaintiffs’ request for regular status conferences and denied their requests for a direct line of communication to the prison's medical director and for regular meetings with prison medical personnel.

On May 7, 2020, the court granted in part the plaintiffs’ motion to enforce the settlement agreement. The court ordered the parties to work cooperatively to ensure that “(1) Plaintiffs receive timely, fulsome quarterly reports and (2) Defendants not be unduly burdened with requests for performance information that are overbroad, duplicative, or of marginal utility given other sources of data and information available to Plaintiffs.” 2020 WL 2263535.

On May 28, 2020, the court ordered the defendants to pay $1.04 million in attorneys’ fees and litigation costs ($934,000 in attorneys’ fees, and $105,000 in costs). 2020 WL 3120993. The plaintiffs had sought $1.99 million.

On July 2, 2020, the court issued an order referring the case to Magistrate Judge Joel C. Hoppe for mediation regarding the prison's failure to produce documents to the plaintiffs as ordered by the court.

As of July 16, 2020, this case is ongoing.

Nate West - 12/01/2014
Sarah Prout - 09/17/2015
Jessica Kincaid - 04/09/2016
Virginia Weeks - 03/15/2018
Lisa Koo - 03/03/2019
Bogyung Lim - 07/08/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc.
Corizon Health, Inc.
Virginia Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All women who currently reside or will in the future reside at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and who have sought, are currently seeking, or will seek medical care for serious medical need
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Southern Poverty Law Center
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Filed 07/24/2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Scott v. Clarke: Fluvanna Prison Healthcare Case
Legal Aid Justice Center
Date: 2019
By: Legal Aid Justice Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:12−cv−00036 (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Press Release
PC-VA-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2012
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (2012 WL 5206799)
PC-VA-0017-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/24/2012
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 33] (2012 WL 6151967) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/11/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 34] (2012 WL 6178171) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/11/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 39]
PC-VA-0017-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 58]
PC-VA-0017-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/15/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 76] (2013 WL 5532685) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/04/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 84] (2013 WL 6047611) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/15/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 88] (2013 WL 6158458) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/25/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 109] (2014 WL 1463755) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/15/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 127] (2014 WL 3734327) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 163] (2014 WL 5386882) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/22/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 188] (61 F.Supp.3d 569) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/20/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 201] (64 F.Supp.3d 813) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/25/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report Regarding Settlement [ECF# 209]
PC-VA-0017-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/21/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Consent Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement
PC-VA-0017-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/15/2015
Source: Bloomberg Law
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 221-1]
PC-VA-0017-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/15/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting the Plaintiffs' Consent Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement [ECF# 222] (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 261] (2016 WL 452164) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Injunction [ECF# 545] (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/02/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Injunction [ECF# 545] (2019 WL 77138) (W.D. Va.)
PC-VA-0017-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/02/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hoppe, Joel C. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Moon, Norman K. (W.D. Va.) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0003 | PC-VA-0017-0004 | PC-VA-0017-0007 | PC-VA-0017-0008 | PC-VA-0017-0009 | PC-VA-0017-0010 | PC-VA-0017-0011 | PC-VA-0017-0012 | PC-VA-0017-0014 | PC-VA-0017-0015 | PC-VA-0017-0017 | PC-VA-0017-0020 | PC-VA-0017-0021 | PC-VA-0017-0022 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Bennett, Leonard Anthony (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Castaneda, Brenda Erin (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Charlton, Mary Frances (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Ciolfi, Angela A. (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Corcoran, Debra Desmore (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Ellis, Shannon Marie (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Finkenstadt, Ivy (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Fornaci, Phillip Jerome (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Gulotta, Alex Ross (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Guzzo, Andrew J. (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Hanes, Elizabeth Wilson (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Howard, Theodore Augustus (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Kelly, Kristi Cahoon (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Mincberg, Elliot M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019
Nash, Casey Shannon (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Ogunkeyede, Adeola (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Rolla, Kimberly Anne (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Trodden, Erin Margaret (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Turner, Abigail (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0002 | PC-VA-0017-0005 | PC-VA-0017-0006 | PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-0018 | PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Walters, Amy Elizabeth (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abato, Diane Marie (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Chang, Phillip C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Daniel, Kevin James (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Dwyre, Kate Elizabeth (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Griggs, Ruth Thomas (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Isaacs, James Milburn Jr. (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Johnson, John Chadwick (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Londos, Katherine Cabell (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
McNelis, Edward J. III (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Miller, Amy Elizabeth (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Muldowney, Elizabeth Martin (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Parsons, John Michael (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Schnetzler, Nathan Henry (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-9000
Vorhis, Richard Carson (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0019 | PC-VA-0017-9000
Wilburn, John David (Virginia) show/hide docs
PC-VA-0017-0016 | PC-VA-0017-9000

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