Civil rights laws protect you against certain discriminatory, arbitrary, unfair or abusive actions by your school or university, your employer, or the government.
If your civil rights are violated you may be able to bring a lawsuit in state or federal court and obtain compensation. Victory in a civil rights lawsuit can result in both monetary compensation from those who have wronged you. It can also result in “injunctive relief,” which is a court order requiring the person or entity that you sued to behave differently in the future.
Common civil rights violations that can lead to viable lawsuits include:
- Illegal arrests and detentions
- Denial of due process in campus disciplinary proceedings
- Denial of medical treatment while incarcerated
- Workplace sexual harassment
- Police brutality or unnecessary use of deadly force
- Racial profiling by law enforcement
- Discrimination in education or employment on the basis of sex, age, religion, race, or disability
In the free world, many of us are accustomed to adequate treatment from high level medical professionals. We reserve the right to switch healthcare plans and providers, seek out additional opinions, and fight against medical indifference and/or negligence. Unfortunately, most prisoners in the United States do not have those luxuries.
Inmates typically have no ability to choose their doctor and little to no say over what care they receive. Most have no immediate recourse if their assigned providers choose to downplay or ignore their serious medical needs. Today, healthcare inside a correctional facility frequently is not even provided by a state or local government: it is the responsibility of a private, for-profit corporation that specializes in the outsourced prison healthcare business. Corizon, Centurion, Wexford, and Wellpath are some of the largest players in this industry and have annual revenues in the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.
Under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, prisoners have certain legally enforceable rights to receive medical treatment. But federal law places substantial technical hurdles in the way of incarcerated people seeking to enforce their constitutional rights. The Prison Litigation Reform Act, a law passed by Congress in 1996, requires persons confined in jails and prisons to exhaust their remedies under any administrative grievance procedure applicable to the facility in which they are confined prior to bringing a claim in federal court. These administrative grievance procedures, in turn, often have extremely tight deadlines and confusing technical rules designed to impede prisoners’ access to the courts. If prisoners inadvertently do not adhere to these guidelines, they can effectively lose their right to legal recourse and possibly miss out on opportunities for judgement and possible rectification.
At Margolis & Cross, we represent individuals who have been denied access to minimally-adequate medical treatment while incarcerated. Filing a lawsuit may, unfortunately, be the only way for your incarcerated loved one to obtain the care that they need. If you or a loved one has been denied necessary medical care by a for-profit prison or jail healthcare contractor, call us today.
We are here to help.
Our experienced attorneys at Margolis & Cross Law can assist you in holding those who have violated your basic rights accountable for their actions. We have successfully represented numerous individuals in connection with civil rights violations by private employers, public universities, and government bodies.
Contact us today for a professional consultation with an experienced civil rights lawyer at our Ann Arbor, Michigan office. Initial consultations are always free.