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Case Name Aragon v. Raemisch PC-CO-0027
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-01744 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA Jail and Prison Private Settlement Agreements
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On July 19, 2017, four prisoners suffering from the Hepatitis C virus who were under the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, sued the executive ... read more >
On July 19, 2017, four prisoners suffering from the Hepatitis C virus who were under the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, sued the executive director of the CDOC, the chief medical officer of the CDOC, and the director of clinical and correctional services of the CDOC under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had denied the plaintiffs, and others similarly situated, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medication in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

This case was originally assigned to Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher, but on August 1, 2017, the case was reassigned to Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya. Then, on September 19, 2017, because all parties did not consent to jurisdiction under Judge Tafoya, the case was reassigned to Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

On September 11, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding four plaintiffs and one defendant, the Interim Chief Medical Officer of the CDOC, without altering the claims or requests for relief.

On October 2, 2017, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs had failed to sufficiently allege both the objective and subjective components of an Eighth Amendment claim of cruel and unusual punishment. In congruence with this motion, the defendants filed a motion to stay discovery pending its resolution, but Judge Jackson denied the motion to stay discovery on October 27, 2017.

On February 7, 2018, the plaintiffs moved to certify a class defined as “[a]ll current and future prisoners in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections who have been or who will be diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C virus, who have at least 24 weeks or more remaining on their sentences and a life expectancy of more than one year, with the exception of prisoners who are already receiving or who have already completed treatment with Direct Acting Antiviral medications."

The parties submitted a joint notice of private settlement agreement on August 18, 2018. The contents of the settlement are not available through PACER, but Prison Legal News reports that under the terms of the settlement prison officials agreed to: 1) spend all available funding for 2018-19 in the amount of $20.5 million to treat prisoners with HCV; 2) reduce the threshold liver damage score to allow more prisoners to receive treatment; 3) provide another $20.5 million in treatment for 2019-20; 4) eliminate the drug and alcohol program precondition; and 5) remove the disciplinary action restriction. The CDOC also agreed to pay attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $175,000.

In response to the notice of settlement, the court dismissed as moot the pending motion for class certification and motion to dismiss. The parties jointly moved to administratively close the case on April 22, 2019. The motion was granted the following day. This case is now closed.

Jake Parker - 06/19/2018
Alex Moody - 04/08/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Medical/Mental Health
Hepatitis
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
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) Colorado Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description All current and future prisoners in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections who have been or who will be diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis C virus, who have at least 24 weeks or more remaining on their sentences and a life expectancy of more than one year, with the exception of prisoners who are already receiving or who have already completed treatment with Direct Acting Anti-Viral medications.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 07/19/2017
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:17-cv-1744 (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0027-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-CO-0027-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 25]
PC-CO-0027-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jackson, Richard Brooke (D. Colo.) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baer, Jacob Jeffrey (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Beall, Christopher P. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Cohen, Neal Stuart (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Jahanian, Arash (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Katz, Dana Sichel (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Neel, Sara R. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Rosenthal, Shoshana (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-0001 | PC-CO-0027-0002 | PC-CO-0027-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alber, Christopher Wayne (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-9000
Gellar, Nicole S. (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-9000
Kemp, Jennifer Fawn (Colorado) show/hide docs
PC-CO-0027-9000

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