PdC Correctional inmate lawsuit being screened for merit

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By Ted Pennekamp

 

A lawsuit filed by 10 inmates of Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution is still being screened to make sure there is merit to the suit, and that it is not frivolous, said a deputy clerk of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. 

There have been several motions filed by the plaintiffs (inmates) involved in the suit within the past few months. The latest was filed on Sept. 12 asking for a preliminary injunction order for the defendant to be held in contempt of court, the deputy clerk said.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on July 18, the inmates claim they were repeatedly exposed to asbestos and black mold and were denied access to cleaning supplies.

Eleven prison employees are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. The inmates are collectively seeking approximately $15 million in damages and are also asking for inmates to be taken to minimum-security facilities in the interest of inmate safety.

The petition was filed by Nicasio C. Quiles II, 45, on behalf of fellow inmates. Quiles has been convicted of numerous felony counts of failure to pay child support. 

He will be an inmate until at least 2022. The lawsuit claims prisoners were exposed to asbestos, a cancer-causing material; water carrying radium, gross alpha and rust; extreme heat due to a lack of air conditioning; and to mold.

The inmates claim proper medical care and treatment have been denied by Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution’s Health Services Unit.

Each of the 10 prisoners seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages from former Warden Tim Haines, and  $250,000 from Deputy Warden Kevin Semanko. Each prisoner also seeks $1 million in punitive damages.

A U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin representative said the court is checking into the backgrounds of the inmates as the court does in all cases involving inmates.

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