Wednesday, November 29, 2006
When an Ohio prisoner learned that he had hepatitis C and was denied treatment by the state, putting him on the verge of irreversible, life-threatening liver disease, two students at Salmon P. Chase College of Law took the case. Last week, Chase students Margie Slagle and Tom Ewing won that case, and today their client is receiving the treatment he needs.
Slagle and Ewing contended in their motion, which was filed with the monitor overseeing the settlement in Fussel v. Wilkinson, a federal prison health care class action, that the state's failure to treat their client constituted deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. Although the state had known for years about the prisoner's condition, it only recently acknowledged his need for treatment; however, it refused to provide that treatment because he was due to be released in January.
Now, thanks to the students' efforts, the state will also arrange for their client to complete his treatment, free of charge, once he is released.
Slagle and Ewing received the opportunity to represent their client through the Chase Clinic at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center in downtown Cincinnati. Through this unique program, third-year law students at Chase have the chance to litigate trials in state and federal courts.
"This is a very important and potentially life-saving victory," said David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. "I am very proud of the work Margie and Tom have done." [Mark Godsey]