Supreme Court to rule on claim against private prison contractors

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[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Minneci v. Pollard [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to decide whether to allow a cause of action against private contractors running a federal prison. The issue is whether the court should imply a cause of action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics [opinion text] against individual employees of private companies that contract with the federal government to provide prison services, where the plaintiff has adequate alternative remedies for the harm alleged and the defendants have no employment or contractual relationship with the government. Respondent Richard Lee Pollard sustained injuries while in federal prison and filed suit against the private company that had contracted with the government to run the facility, as well as several of its employees, alleging a violation of his Eighth Amendment [text] rights. A district court dismissed Pollard’s case, finding that alternative and superior remedies were available in state court, but the Ninth Circuit reversed [opinion, PDF], creating a split among the circuit courts.

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