7th Circuit grants en banc hearing in Indiana prison death suit

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals set aside its ruling affirming summary judgment in favor of a medical services provider in an Indiana prison death lawsuit, ordering a review by the full panel of circuit judges.

The court on Tuesday ordered en banc review of its Feb. 17 ruling in Alma Glisson, as personal representative of the estate of Nicholas L. Glisson v. Indiana Department of Corrections, 15-1419.

The estate of Nicholas Glisson claimed his Eighth Amendment constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment were violated when Corizon, also known as Correctional Medical Services, failed to adequately treat him at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. He died from complications of laryngeal cancer and renal failure.

The majority of a three-judge panel, Judges William Bauer and Diane Sykes, affirmed District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Corizon defendants. The majority held claims that Corizon failed to implement a Department of Correction directive regarding a centralized care plan could not be proven to show deliberate indifference without evidence of a series of incidents or widespread practice against other inmates.

Chief Judge Diane Wood dissented, writing she would reverse and send the case to trial. She held that “a rational jury could find that Corizon deliberately structured the delivery of medical care in a way that lacked critical oversight. That policy in Glisson’s case predictably had fatal results.”

The order granting en banc review of the appeal said a date for oral argument will be announced in a separate order.

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