TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A U.S. District Judge has given the Arizona Department of Corrections 60 days to renegotiate a 2014 settlement.
The settlement came after prisoners from across the state brought a class action lawsuit against the ADC for failure to provide adequate healthcare.
The settlement set forth healthcare standards, which the defendants have argued are not being met.
The ADC is currently fighting a $1.4 million fine for failing to meet those standards.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver said if both sides cannot agree to renewed settlement negotiations, the case should be set for trial.
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Corene Kendrick, an attorney representing the inmates, responded to the judge’s order saying.
“Judge Silver is understandably frustrated with ADC’s ongoing refusal to meet the promises that the department made when we settled the case in 2014," Kendrick said. "Because of years ADC’s attorneys have argued the agreement that Charles Ryan signed is unenforceable and somehow isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, and that the federal court lacks power to hold the State to its promises.”
KOLD News 13 contacted Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for ADOC.
“The health and well-being of the inmates in our care is a priority for the Arizona Department of Corrections," Wilder said. "The state has an obligation to provide inmates the constitutionally-mandated healthcare they are entitled. We remain committed to improving inmate health care and listening - not just to inmates and staff, but family members and community partners.”