United States District Court, D. Idaho
PHILIP A. TURNEY, an individual; BILLY RAY BARTLETT, an individual; MICHAEL A. McCALL, an individual; and REUBEN J. CORTES, an individual, Plaintiffs,
HENRY ATENCIO; RONA SEIGERT; JOHN G. MIGLIORI; MURRAY F. YOUNG; APRIL C. DAWSON; JOHN and JANE DOES A-Z; CORIZON, INC.; and IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
January 3, 2018, five pro se prisoners in custody of the
Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC)-Philip A. Turney, Billy
Ray Bartlett, James S. Hendrickson, Michael A. Hall, and Reuben
J. Cortes (Plaintiffs)-filed a joint Complaint about
inadequate prison medical treatment for their Hepatitis C
conditions, seeking monetary and injunctive relief. (Dkt.
early 2018, the Court permitted Plaintiffs to proceed, but
severed their individual claims into separate lawsuits
because prison security policy generally prevents prisoners
from possessing other prisoners' medical records (Dkts.
21, 23.) On August 13, 2018, Plaintiffs gave notice of their
stipulation to consolidate their cases into one action
through newly-retained attorneys Richard Hearn and John B.
Inglestrom (collectively “Hearn”) (Dkt. 47.) On
September 19, 2018, the cases were consolidated. (Dkt. 50.)
case that Plaintiffs seek to consolidate with this case is
Workman, et al. v. Atencio, et al., No.
1:16-CV-00309-BLW, which was filed on July 8, 2016, about two
years before the Turney plaintiffs filed their pro
se lawsuit. In Workman, prisoners Kenneth Workman
and Ray Nichols sought Hepatitis C treatment. They alleged
that- even though Hepatitis C can now be cured with a costly
new drug, a non-interferon direct-action antiviral medication
(“DAA”)-IDOC/Corizon withholds that treatment
from all but the prisoners with the most severe symptoms
because of the financial cost. Workman and Nichols asserted
that prison officials instead should treat all prisoners
infected with Hepatitis C to cure them before their symptoms
become severe. In their complaint, Workman and Nichols sought
only injunctive and declaratory relief.
parties in Workman agree that Workman recently has
been treated and essentially cured of Hepatitis C. Workman
asserts that the lack of past treatment caused permanent
liver damage. Nichols has not been treated because his
symptoms are not severe, but he would like to be cured before
his symptoms worsen.
Hearn now represents Workman. Nichols proceeds pro se.
TO CONSOLIDATE WORKMAN CASE
Standard of Law
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) permits consolidation
of actions that share “a common question of law or
fact.” To determine whether to exercise discretion to
consolidate cases, a reviewing court “weighs the saving
of time and effort consolidation would produce against any
inconvenience, delay or expense that it would cause.”
Huene v. United States, 743 F.2d 703, 704 (9th Cir.
1984). The court may consider factors such as disparate trial
dates or different stages of discovery as weighing against
consolidation of the cases. 9 Wright & Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 2383 (2006).
may take the form of a court order to “(1) join for
hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
(2) consolidate the actions; or (3) issue any other orders to
avoid unnecessary cost or delay.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a).
In addition, “[f]or convenience, to avoid prejudice, or
to expedite and economize, the court may order a separate
trial of one or more separate issues [or] claims.”
October 4, 2018, counsel for all plaintiffs except Nichols
filed a motion to consolidate the Workman and
Turney cases. The Workman case is two years
older than the Turney case, but the Workman
case took an irregular course. Plaintiffs, rather than
Defendants, first filed a pro se motion seeking summary
judgment, but did so without adequate supporting evidence.
Disclosure and discovery disputes existed at the time of the
summary judgment filing, and disputes remain outstanding
today even though the Court previously ordered Defendants to
supplement their disclosures. Defendants have now filed for
summary judgment on some claims, but the motion will not
dispose of all claims in that case.
Workman is not procedurally much farther ahead than
the Turney case. The Turney case needs a
new comprehensive case management plan, given the
parties' outstanding requests, which range from amendment
to class action status to preliminary injunctive relief.
Consolidation of these similar cases will serve judicial
efficiency. An overarching case management plan regarding
disclosure, discovery, and all other outstanding requests
will reduce duplicative attorney time spent on tasks on both
sides. In addition, the same expert witnesses and other
evidence likely can be used in all the cases, reducing the
attendant costs of litigation for the parties.
no party has shown that prejudice will occur because of
consolidation. Nor has any party shown that inconveniences
associated with consolidation will be greater than the
benefits. The only difficulty is that one plaintiff remains
pro se; however, the Rules of Civil Procedure provide the
Court with authority to issue orders catering to the
particular needs of the claims and cases within a
the Court has concluded that consolidation of these cases is
appropriate. By separate order in the Workman case,
the Court has ordered Plaintiff Nichols to clarify how he
desires to proceed. If Nichols decides to proceed pro se,
then the Court will determine whether his case will be
handled differently within the consolidated case because of
privacy, security, and case management concerns that arise in
pro se cases.
the Workman and Turney cases will be
referred to as the Turney case.
BALLA CLASS'S ...