Plata v. Newsom
Plata v. Newsom (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, Apr. 25, 2022): The Ninth Circuit vacated a lower court order requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to require vaccination of all staff who regularly access CDCR facilities. After CDCR implemented a policy requiring vaccination of staff working in health care settings, the district court ruled that CDCR acted with “deliberate indifference” to inmate health—in violation of the 8th Amendment—by failing to require all staff to be vaccinated. The appellate court disagreed, concluding that CDCR took “significant action” to address COVID-19 health and safety risks. The court noted a lack of evidence establishing that a total vaccine mandate would be more effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 than existing CDCR policies and held that a “decision to adopt an approach that is not the most medically efficacious does not itself establish deliberate indifference.” Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 16, 2022.