Valentine v. Collier
Valentine v. Collier (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, March 26, 2021): Inmates at a Texas prison sued the senior warden and the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the 8th Amendment. Plaintiffs claimed defendants had shown “deliberate indifference” and failed to accommodate disabled inmates in pandemic policies through lack of handwashing station access, among other issues. The 5th Circuit found no such evidence, concluding defendants had responded reasonably to inmate complaints. Though the court agreed there was a lack of equal access to hand washing stations for disabled inmates, it denied the ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims because the inmates failed to alert defendants to the discrimination and it was not “open, obvious, and apparent.” Read the full decision here.