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Mann v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

August 26, 2019

JEFFREY D. MANN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          George C. Smith Chief Magistrate

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Annette Chambers-Smith's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 35), Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition (ECF No. 28), and Defendant Annette Chambers-Smith's Reply (ECF No. 47). This matter is also before the Court on Defendant Mona Parks' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 43), which is essentially identical to Defendant Annette Chambers-Smith's Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition and Motion to Strike Defendant Mona Parks' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 46), and Defendant Mona Parks' Reply (ECF No. 49). For the following reasons, it is RECOMMENDED that Defendant Annette Chambers-smith's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 35) be GRANTED, Defendant Mona Parks' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 43) be GRANTED, and Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike (ECF No. 46) be DENIED.

         Plaintiffs are inmates at Grafton Correctional Institution. Plaintiffs initiated this action by filing Motions for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis on December 4, 2018. (ECF Nos. 1- 3.) Also on December 4, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Appoint Class Counsel (ECF No. 4) and a Motion to Certify Claims as a Class Action (ECF No. 5). On December 11, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiffs' Motions for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis and filed their Complaint. (ECF No. 7.) Plaintiffs bring civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting a violation of their Eighth Amendment rights based on deliberate indifference to serious medical needs relating to Hepatitis C. Plaintiffs allege the following regarding Hepatitis C and cite to exhibits attached to their Complaint:

Hepatitis C is a viral [infection] that affects the liver in humans, causing cirrhosis, fibrosis, fatty liver, liver cancer and other dysfunctions of the liver; (Exhibit B, C & D)
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with 10% of all deaths in the U.S. being linked to it; (Exhibit J, CDC Report)
Twenty thousand (20, 000) people died of HCV in 2015, but the number could, in fact, be five times higher; (Exhibit E, CDC Report)
The [prevalence] of chronic HCV infections among prisoners in the U.S. is between 12 and 35 percent (12-35%), compared to about 1.3% in the general population, and the prevalence of end stage liver disease caused by HCV is estimated to be three times higher in prisoners than in those in the general population; (Worman, Howard J. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in [I]ncarcerated Patients”, The AMA Journal of Ethics. Feb. 2008)
HCV causes, inter alia, cirrhosis, which leads to fibrosis and interferes with liver function, (Exhibit A), fibrosis, which obliterates the architecture and function of the underlying organ or tissue, (Exhibit B), fatty liver, caused by the disruption of fat metabolism caused by HCV and depositing excessive amounts of fat on the liver, interfering with liver function and leading to liver cancer, caused by fatty liver and genotype 3 HCV, and hepatocyte ballooning, which is necrosis (or dying off) of liver tissue as an inflammatory response to fatty liver and the effects of untreated HCV; (Exhibit [C & D])
In general, treatment of HCV will reverse the process of fatty liver if implemented at an early stage; (Exhibit C)
Treatment for HCV infection is indicated if the virus is present for six months; (Exhibits E and F)
Ninety percent (90%) of HCV infections can be cured with 8-12 weeks of therapy, (Exhibits E and F) and treatment is recommended at the earliest possible stage for maximum efficacy, (Exhibits G and I); and the only treatment is medications, (id);
The indicators for severity of infection are reflected as the “APRI” [ACT Serum to Platelet Ratio Index] which measures the viral load, in combination with determining the extent of [fibrosis], if any; (Exhibit H)
The use of a biopsy for assessment of the existence and extent of fibrosis has been established to be inaccurate, and is disfavored in favor of vibration-controlled transient liver elastography which measures the stiffness ...

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