Mann, et al. v. ODRC
Case Dates:Thursday, 14 November, 2019 - ongoing
Jeffrey Mann, John Bragg and Eric Pastrano (“Plaintiffs”) are incarcerated at Grafton Correctional Institute (“GCI”) and have been diagnosed with HCV. A relatively new class of direct-acting antiretroviral (“DAA”) drugs can cure HCV in most cases, with a quicker treatment regimen and fewer side effects than older-generation antiretrovirals. The current standard of care is to treat all patients with chronic HCV, except those with a short life expectancy. Plaintiffs have each been denied DAA treatment based on ODRC’s medical protocol, which requires patients to have an APRI—a lab value used to measure the disease’s progression—of 1.5 or greater. Plaintiffs filed a pro se lawsuit challenging the denial of HCV treatment on the grounds that it constitutes deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and seeking declaratory, injunctive and compensatory relief.
Prison officials violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment by being deliberately indifferent to a prisoner’s serious medical needs. The defendants here have conceded that Hepatitis C is a serious medical need, so on appeal we will argue that a blanket medical policy of denying DAA treatment until a 1.5 APRI value is indicated, without an individualized determination, constitutes deliberate indifference.
Plaintiffs brought this case pro se in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Case number 2:18-cv-01565, Judge George C. Smith presiding. They filed their complaint on December 11, 2018. On February 20, 2019, the State of Ohio filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. ODRC and three individual defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on March 3. A remaining individual defendant, Mona Parks, the Chief Medical Officer for ODRC, filed her Motion to Dismiss on June 17, 2019. Briefing on the Motions to Dismiss culminated on July 24 with Judge Smith’s Order granting the dismissal.
On October 20, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal. We joined the case by filing our appearances on November 14, 2019 and on January 22 we filed our opening brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.