University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Snead v. CoreCivic PC-TN-0017
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-00949 ( M.D. Tenn. )
Additional Docket(s) 3:17-cv-00958  [ 17-958 ]  Middle District of TN (U.S.)
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On June 16, 2017, an individual who had previously been held at Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility (“MDCDF”) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sued CoreCivic of Tennessee (formerly ... read more >
On June 16, 2017, an individual who had previously been held at Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility (“MDCDF”) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sued CoreCivic of Tennessee (formerly the Corrections Corporation of America), a private company operating the facility under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel or unusual punishment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process guarantee.

The plaintiff claimed that CoreCivic had systematically failed provide adequate health care at MDCDF, a 1,300-bed prison for male and female pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners serving sentences. Specifically, the plaintiffs said a scabies outbreak occurred in 2016, but the defendant refused to implement an effective infection-control policy prior to, during, or after the outbreak.

The plaintiffs asked for punitive damages, as well as an injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from "intimidating, threatening, and retaliating against inmates for demanding medical care for their serious medical needs and to immediately provide adequate oral and topical medication sufficient to fully treat all those diagnosed with scabies." The complaint also asked for the court to require the defendant "to provide a full medical staff adequate to meet the needs of those infested with scabies and capable of dispensing medication and monitoring their treatment until completion.”

On October 27, 2017, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint that added another individual plaintiff. The case was assigned to the U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger.

The plaintiffs sought to certify three different subclasses:
  1. The “Scabies Class:” All current and former inmates who had a skin rash consistent with a scabies infestation who were denied treatment, or whose delayed treatment by the Defendant caused the inmate’s condition to worsen, since October 1, 2016.

  2. The “Denied Prescriptions Class:” All current and former inmates who were prescribed medication that was not administered as prescribed, or whose prescribed plan of treatment was interrupted or delayed by the Defendant, since October 1, 2016.

  3. The “Denied Medical Attention Class:” All current and former inmates who requested, but were denied medical attention or treatment since October 1, 2016.
On September 25, 2017, the court consolidated this case with John Doe v. CoreCivic of Tennessee, also in this Clearinghouse, brought before the same trial court by other individuals who contracted scabies and were denied adequate medical attention while confined at MDCDF.

On June 27, 2018, the court denied certification of the “Denied Prescriptions” and “Denied Medical Attention” subclasses because the plaintiffs had not shown that the violation affected enough people to justify the use of a class actions. It also denied certification of any class seeking injunctive relief because the plaintiffs had all been released from MDCDF and thus lacked standing to seek prospective relief for others still at MDCDF. However, the court certified the “Scabies Subclass.”

During the year following class certification, the parties engaged in discovery and began to prepare for trial. They also entered into as-yet fruitless mediation, and CoreCivic moved for summary judgment and to decertify the class.

As of January 17, 2020, the parties are continuing to prepare for trial, and the summary judgment motion remains pending before the court.

Marcella Pereira Ferraro - 01/31/2019
Timothy Leake - 01/17/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Failure to train
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Skin Infections
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) CoreCivic of Tennessee, LLC
Plaintiff Description The court certified a class consisting of "[a]ll former inmates of MDCDF who are not currently incarcerated and who, while still incarcerated at MDCDF, had a skin rash consistent with a scabies infestation and who were denied treatment, or whose delayed treatment caused the condition to worsen, since October 1, 2016.”
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/16/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing JC-TN-0009 : Doe v. CoreCivic of Tennessee (M.D. Tenn.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
3:17−cv−00949 (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-TN-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 15]
PC-TN-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 36] (2018 WL 3157283) (M.D. Tenn.)
PC-TN-0017-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/27/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Brown, Joe B. (M.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0002
Trauger, Aleta Arthur (M.D. Tenn.) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0002 | PC-TN-0017-0003 | PC-TN-0017-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blackburn, William Gary (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0001 | PC-TN-0017-0002 | PC-TN-0017-9000
Kroll, Bryant B. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-9000
McKee, R. Joshua (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0001 | PC-TN-0017-0002 | PC-TN-0017-9000
Roberts, Jeffery S. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0001 | PC-TN-0017-0002 | PC-TN-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Callen, Jason (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-9000
McKelvey, Terrence M. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-9000
Nutini, Paige Ayres (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-9000
Polly, Erin Palmer (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-9000
Welborn, Joseph F III (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PC-TN-0017-0002 | PC-TN-0017-9000

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