Feldman & Wallach: Federal Court Allows California Class Action To Proceed With Race-Based Claims On Behalf Of Inmates Infected By Valley Fever - MyFoxTallahassee.com

Feldman & Wallach: Federal Court Allows California Class Action To Proceed With Race-Based Claims On Behalf Of Inmates Infected By Valley Fever

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SOURCE Feldman & Wallach

Eastern District Court Determines That Claims Of Racial Animus Are Appropriately Pled

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United States District Judge Lawrence O'Neill denied a motion brought by Defendants Gov. Brown, Secretary of C.D.C.R Matthew Cate, and other Cal. Dep't. of Corrections officials to dismiss 8th amendment claims as well as the race-based claims asserting violation of equal protection alleged by inmates of African descent. 

In Jackson v. Brown, Case No. 1:13-cv-01055-LJO-SAB (USDC, E.D.CA), the Amended Complaint alleges that the defendants knew, or should have known, that inmates of African descent were nine times more likely to develop the terminal form of "Valley Fever" (known as "disseminated coccidiodomycosis") than others, and either intentionally or negligently failed to take action to protect these inmates, resulting in their acquisition of the chronic illness (which can be fatal, and has lead to the deaths of approximately 40 inmates of African descent over the past seven years).  The case will now proceed to the discovery phase. 

The Court previously indicated that it would allow the Eighth Amendment claims to proceed, but not those asserting racial animus.  The seven named representative plaintiffs amended their complaint, and the Court determined that the causes of action rooted in Section 1983, asserting a violation of equal protection, could proceed, as well as a cause of action rooted in Section 1981, asserting a violation of the right to "like punishment."

Plaintiffs are jointly represented by the firms of Feldman & Wallach (who litigated the Panah v. USA valley fever matter), Raymond Boucher and the firm of Khorrami Boucher, LLP, and the class action firm of Arias, Ozzello, and Gignac, LLP.

Judge Lawrence O'Neill's order, and the recommendations and findings of Magistrate Judge Stanley Boone, are available upon request to eliza@feldmanwallach.com or at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx7x7FRX0wM-Q0tHd0RXOHI3Tnc/edit?usp=sharing.

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