Defenders of inmate who gave birth in her cell without medical attention sued for defamation by health care vendor
Attorneys/Firms: Mary Catherine Roper (ACLU-PA); Jack Cohn & Tom Wilkinson (Cozen O'Connor); national counsel for Pax Christi, William P. Quigley (Loyola University New Orleans School of Law)
In the wake of public accounts about a 2007 incident in which a Lackawanna County Prison inmate gave birth alone in her cell without medical attention, the Northeastern chapter of Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace and justice organization, called for an investigation into medical care at the prison. When no official action was taken, several members of the chapter began their own investigation. They gave the results of their investigation to the county commissioners and the prison board.
When county officials failed to act, the chapter members released their report to the media. Correctional Care, Inc (CCI), the contractor who provides medical care in the Lackawanna County prison then sued one of the authors of the report, Joseph Rogan, personally for "an amount in excess of $50,000" plus attorneys' fees and punitive damages, claiming that the Pax Christi report he helped write was defamatory and an unjustified interference with CCI's contract with Lackawanna County.
After intervention by the ACLU and volunteer attorneys from Cozen O'Connor, CCI dropped its lawsuit in October 2008.