Sumary of Lawsuit settlement sets up panel for Hawaii prisons during coronavirus pandemic:
- COURTESY PHOTO U.S. District Court Judge Jill Otake A federal judge in Honolulu has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a lawsuit by Hawaii inmates who allege state officials mishandled the pandemic and failed to protect them from COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails.
- In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jill Otake said the settlement between the state and the inmates is “fair, adequate, and reasonable.
- Situations described in court documents included ailing detainees kept near a bathroom flooded with urine and feces.
- Their requests to use the bathroom were frequently denied, forcing them to urinate in their drinking cups, according to the documents.
- The inmates had asked for a court-appointed expert who could ensure the state was following its own Pandemic Response Plan.
- In July, Otake ruled that she wouldn’t appoint a special master but said she was troubled by “egregious conditions” that led to virus outbreaks at five of the state’s eight prisons and jails.