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Turney v. Atencio

United States District Court, D. Idaho

January 29, 2019

PHILIP A. TURNEY, an individual; BILLY RAY BARTLETT, an individual; MICHAEL A. McCALL, an individual; and REUBEN J. CORTES, an individual, KENNETH MICHAEL WORKMAN, an individual, and RAY MARVIN NICHOLS, an individual, Plaintiffs,
v.
HENRY ATENCIO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND PHASE 1 SCHEDULING ORDER

          B. LYNN WINMILL, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court are several motions filed by the parties in the lead and member cases. Having reviewed the motions and the entirety of the record, the Court enters the following Order.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 8, 2016, Plaintiffs Workman and Nichols filed their pro se lawsuit asserting that the Idaho Department of Correction (“IDOC”) and its contract medical provider Corizon Health Care, Inc. (“Corizon”) were not providing constitutionally adequate Hepatitis C treatment. Plaintiffs alleged that, while Hepatitis C can now be cured with a costly new drug-a non-interferon direct-action antiviral medication (“DAA”)-IDOC/Corizon policy is to treat only the prisoners with severe symptoms. Plaintiffs asserted that prison officials instead should treat all prisoners infected with Hepatitis C to prevent their symptoms from becoming severe. Workman and Nichols sought only injunctive and declaratory relief in their original pro se Complaint.

         Workman developed liver cirrhosis. He has since been treated and essentially cured of Hepatitis C. Defendants' pending summary judgment motion asserts that Workman's claims are now moot because he has been cured.

         On January 3, 2018, Plaintiffs Philip A. Turney, Billy Ray Bartlett, Michael A. Hall, and Reuben J. Cortes (“Turney plaintiffs”) filed a similar Hepatitis C Complaint in Case No. 1:18-cv-00001-BLW, Turney v. Atencio. (Dkt. 11.) The Court has since consolidated Workman and Nichol's action into the Turney action. (Dkt. 94.)

         REVIEW OF PENDING MOTIONS

         1. Standards of Law

         A. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to a particular claim or defense, “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). To show that the material facts are not in dispute, a party may cite to particular parts of materials in the record or show that the adverse party is unable to produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A) & (B). The Court must consider “the cited materials, ” but it may also consider “other materials in the record.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3).

         B. Mootness

         Article III of the Constitution requires that “federal courts confine themselves to deciding actual cases and controversies.” Gator.com Corp. v. L.L. Bean, Inc., 398 F.3d 1125, 1128 (9th Cir. 2005). In addition, “Article III requires that a live controversy persist throughout all stages of the litigation.” Id. at 1128-29 (quoting Burke v. Barnes, 479 U.S. 361, 363 (1987)). The test for mootness is whether the court can give the plaintiff any effective relief if he is victorious; “[t]hat is, whether the court can ‘undo' the effects of the alleged wrongdoing.” Reimers v. Oregon, 863 F.2d 630, 632 (9th Cir. 1989).

         Claims that are capable of repetition, yet may continue to evade review can be an exception to the mootness doctrine. To qualify for this exception, a litigant must show that “(1) the challenged action is too short in duration to be fully litigated prior to its expiration, and (2) there is a reasonable expectation that the injury will occur again.” Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149 (1975) (per curiam)).

         2. Relevant ...


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