Mentally Ill Inmates Lose Bid for Class Certification

     DENVER (CN) – The 10th Circuit refused to certify a class of mentally ill patients who accused officials at the El Paso County Jail of subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment.

     Inmates at the Colorado jail tried and failed for a second time to challenge the district court’s denial of their class certification.
     Mark Shook and Dennis Jones protested the conditions at the jail and claimed their Eighth Amendment rights were violated. They alleged the overuse of pepper spray, restraints and special detention cells, along with inadequate health care and protection against suicides.
     Judge Gorsuch ruled that the district court remedied the legal errors from its first decision, and it did not abuse its discretion in denying the class certification in its second decision.
     “The district court noted the factual differences between the … plaintiff’s situations,” the judge wrote. “Some were asserting claims for denial of medication, some for lack of supervision, and others for excessive force.”
     The appropriate rule, Gorsuch wrote, “requires that final injunctive relief be appropriate for the class as a whole.”

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