State Wants Court Review Of Inmate Health Care Ruling

July 31, 2014

Attorneys for the state want a federal court to reconsider whether thousands of inmates can join together in a suit over the quality of health care in Arizona’s prisons.

In early June, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Arizona’s claim that about 33,000 inmates don’t have enough in common to warrant class-action status.

Now, the state is asking an 11-judge panel to reconsider that decision.

Arizona’s attorneys have called into question whether the requirements for a class-action were met just because inmates are housed at the same prison and are making the same kind of claim. But lawyers representing the inmates say every prisoner is at risk if health care is inadequate, not just people who are sick right now.