Yarborough Applegate’s Chris Bryant has been appointed to represent an inmate with a long history of being denied treatment for Hepatitis C, which is a widespread epidemic in prisons across the US. Similar class action suits are in the works in at least ten other states including California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.
This morning’s complaint in South Carolina alleges that the South Carolina Department of Corrections has been—and continues to be—deliberately indifferent to the medical needs of inmates with Hepatitis C, in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It also alleges that the SCDC discriminates against those inmates in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. To date, the SCDC has treated only 9 of the more than 600 inmates known to be infected with Hepatitis C. And according to the Center for Disease Control’s estimates (one-third of inmates nationwide are estimated to be infected with Hepatitis C) and due to the lack in systematic screening for the disease in SC, the number of infected inmates in the state is likely closer to 6,000 than 600.
Learn more about the case in South Carolina via John Monk’s reporting in The State out of Columbia, SC.