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Former Marion County jail inmates lose appeal

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Two former inmates who filed a class action lawsuit against the company that runs the Marion County Correctional Center couldn’t convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that the court should rule in their favor. The men claimed the jail provided inadequate medical care and inhumane living conditions.

Alan Kress and Randy Carr were inmates in the jail in 2008. They filed their complaint against CCA of Tennessee, which operates as Corrections Corporation of America, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. They also sought class certification for any and all people currently or who will be confined in the jail.

In December 2010, U.S. Judge Larry McKinney granted class certification, but dismissed many of the claims from class certification, including that the jail failed to provide adequate medical care, that the conditions of confinement inside the jail were inhumane, and that the procedures in the jail violated inmates’ rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. CCA moved for summary judgment on the remaining issues, which the District Court granted.

Kress and Carr appeal McKinney’s denial of class certification of their claim regarding CCA’s reduction of daily pill calls for inmates from three per day to two per day, the grant of summary judgment to CCA, and the order denying their motion to amend the judgment.

McKinney denied class certification on this issue based on the failure to satisfy the typicality requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(a). The 7th Circuit was not persuaded by Kress and Carr’s reliance on Smentek v. Sherriff of Cook County, 09 C 529, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122145 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 18, 2010), to overturn the decision.

In Alan Kress and Randy Carr v. CCA of Tennessee LLC, doing business as Corrections Corporation of America, et al., 11-2950,  the 7th Circuit also upheld summary judgment for CCA, pointing out that the conditions the men complained of have since been remedied by the jail. They do not dispute that the remedial measures were taken.

“Therefore, due to the lack of evidence of any ongoing constitutional violations, the district court had no choice. The grant of summary judgment was proper,” Judge William Bauer wrote.

The judges affirmed the denial of the men’s motion to amend judgment.
 

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