Firm attorneys continue their efforts to obtain justice and monetary and injunctive relief in a class action brought in 2013 against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). Doe vs. MDOC, filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, involves a class of juveniles who have suffered sexual harassment by adult prisoners and guards while incarcerated in adult facilities by the MDOC. [caption id="attachment_1381" align="alignright" width="200"] PMP&R Partner Beth Rivers[/caption] "Despite the state's efforts to delay and ultimately deny any consideration of the merits of the claims through dozens of dispositive motions and interlocutory appeals, the case is moving forward on several fronts," said attorney Beth Rivers. The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that the Court of Appeals had erred in deciding the issue of whether the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act protected prisoners from discrimination. The case was remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings. According to Rivers, a companion case filed in federal court in 2013 also remains active. In that case, the plaintiffs (on behalf of a class of youth incarcerated in adult prisons) allege that the incarceration of juveniles in adult prisons violates their constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, denies them due process and equal protection afforded by the 14th Amendment. The state has also sought to deny the class members a hearing on the merits of this case, but those efforts have been unsuccessful. "Unfortunately, after these lawsuits were filed, the youth who had been brave enough to come forward and report and challenge sexual abuse of youth in adult prisons began to experience retaliation from MDOC officials," said Rivers. Rivers said the retaliation included MDOC officials identifying youths making reports to staff and other prisoners resulting in further abuse and retaliation. "In response to the continuing abuse of these innocent juveniles by MDOC officials, we've filed another lawsuit alleging retaliation in violation of the plaintiffs' First Amendment right to file litigation and complain about the conditions of their confinement," said Rivers. The state is using the same delay tactics, according to Rivers, and has responded to the complaint with a motion for summary judgment. That motion is pending. The legal team remains hopeful that the State will eventually be forced to answer and take responsibility for the department's policy of housing youth in adult prisons, which resulted in severe sexual abuse and harassment of the youths by adult prisoners and MDOC staff.
*T. Leopold was cited by MLive in its coverage of the amended complaint announcement regarding reinstatement of Gov Snyder as a defendant
WWTV/CBS/Traverse City -- "Gov. Snyder May be Reinstated as Defendant in Flint Water Case"
WJRT/ABC 12/Flint -- "Flint Water Victims Seek to Reinstate Gov. Snyder, Senior State Officials as Defendants"
T. Leopold and M. Pitt were quoted in WJRT/ABC 12 coverage of amended complaint filing announcement
*WOOD/NBC/Grand Rapids -- "Victims Ask Judge to Reinstate Gov. Snyder in Lawsuit"
M. Pitt was cited in MLive coverage of Genessee County court proceedings involving firm clients severely injured as bystanders in auto accidents related to dangerous, high-speed vehicle pursuits initiated by Michigan State Police officers
The Oakland Press reported on Mike Pitt's selection to Wayne Law's Alumni Wall of Fame
Jennifer Lord was quoted in Detroit News coverage of upcoming oral arguments in UIA class action
FOX 2 Detroit -- Sept. 9 broadcast of FOX 2's "Let it Rip" program with Jennifer Lord as guest panel member/22:33
September 9 broadcast of FOX 2 Detroit's "Let it Rip" program featured Jennifer Lord on the panel, which discussed the aftermath of the Mario Impemba-Rod Allen broadcast booth brawl and public and business repercussions of Nike's...
Megan Bonanni was quoted in State News (MSU campus/community newspaper) coverage of PMP&R's representation of new Nassar survivors
Megan Bonanni was quoted by Michigan Radio/NPR in its coverage of Nassar survivors and the Sept. 10 filing deadline for claims
Bustle.com -- "The Deadline for These Nassar Victimsto File Lawsuits is Approaching -- Here's What That Means"
Megan Bonanni was quoted by Bustle* in a story on the new Nassar victims and September 10 filing deadline
Megan Bonanni was cited by the Detroit Free Press in coverage of new Nassar victims and September 10 deadline for filing civil suits
Megan Bonanni was cited by MLive in its coverage of legal representation for new Nassar victims and pending deadline for filing civil suits
Michael Pitt discusses his social justice background and motivation in an announcement posted by Public Justice on his selection as its president for a one-year term
M. Pitt was cited by MLive in its coverage of August 1 U.S. District Court ruling on Flint class action
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "Flint Water Class Action Lawsuit Moves Forward, but Gov. Snyder Dropped as Defendant"
Michael Pitt and Ted Leopold were cited by Michigan Radio/NPR in its story on Judge Levy's ruling in the Flint class action:
Mike Pitt and Ted Leopold were quoted in WLUC/NBC/Upper Michigan's coverage of the federal court ruling in the Flint Class Action:
Mike Pitt was cited in a Detroit News story on the Flint Class Action ruling
Ted Leopold and Mike Pitt were cited in the National Law Journal's coverage of federal court decision in Flint class action: