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Case Name Haldane v. Hammond PC-WA-0026
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-01810-RAJ-MAT ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Columbia Legal Services (formerly Evergreen)
Case Summary
On November 17, 2015, four prisoners in Washington state brought a class action lawsuit against the state's Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for allegedly arbitrarily withholding necessary medical care from patients with serious and painful medical conditions. The prisoners, ... read more >
On November 17, 2015, four prisoners in Washington state brought a class action lawsuit against the state's Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for allegedly arbitrarily withholding necessary medical care from patients with serious and painful medical conditions. The prisoners, who went untreated or under-treated for serious ailments -including kidney failure, kidney stones, hernia, and chronic and substantial pain - alleged that the denial of care while incarcerated constituted cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment.

Plaintiffs sought 1) a declaration that the Washington DOC's policies and practices governing the approval of medical care requests by DOC providers and outside specialists violate the Eight Amendment; 2) a preliminary and permanent injunction restraining the DOC from denying, without reasonable medical justification, necessary care for class members' serious medical needs; and 3) reasonable attorney's fees.

The Washington DOC only administered direct medical care for "medically necessary" conditions. All others required approval by a Department of Corrections Care Review Committee (CRC) consisting of doctors and other medical professionals across the state. Of all petitions for care, about 60% were being denied by the CRC. Specifically, complaints of chronic and substantial pain were being ignored.

The plaintiffs also sought to certify the following class: "All current and future prisoners, incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the Washington Department of Corrections, whose access to necessary medical care has been denied, or will be subject to denial, under the Department’s policies and practices governing access to health care requiring prior approval."

Judge Richard A Jones denied class certification on Sept. 18, 2017, holding that the proposed class lacked the necessary commonality for class certification. The court found that the plaintiffs had "not adequately identified common policies and practices to show that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to inmates’ needs." The plaintiffs sought to appeal the decision, but the Ninth Circuit denied their petition to appeal on Dec. 21, 2017.

As of March 15, 2018, the case is ongoing as the parties proceed toward trial.

Dan Hofman - 02/18/2016
Virginia Weeks - 03/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Untreated pain
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) G. Steven Hammond
Plaintiff Description Individuals incarcerated in the state of Washington who were denied certain kinds of medical diagnosis and treatment by the state Department of Corrections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Columbia Legal Services (formerly Evergreen)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-01810-RAJ (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [class action] [ECF# 1]
PC-WA-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/17/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 125] (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Jones, Richard A. (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0026-0002 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Nicholas B. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Balson, Hank L. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Ehman, Merf E. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Gunning, Kimberlee L (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Lee, Melissa R (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Straley, Nicholas Broten (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Taylor, Rhona (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Whedbee, David J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Wing, Jesse (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-0001 | PC-WA-0026-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dibble, Candie M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Lang, Timothy Norman (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000
Williams, Aaron M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0026-9000

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