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Civil Rights

Women’s Huron Valley Scabies Litigation (WHV - MDOC)

Pearson v. Michigan Department of Corrections et al,
Court File No. 2:19-CV-10707 (E.D. Mich.)

On March 8, 2019, we filed a class action complaint against Michigan Department of Corrections and Corizon Health, Inc., among other parties, in the Eastern District of Michigan.. We have brought this case on behalf of current and former inmates of Huron Valley Correctional Facility for Women (“WHV”). We filed an amended consolidated class action complaint on September 25, 2020.

The complaint alleges in part that female inmates at WHV were regularly denied access to adequate medical and mental health care, hygienic conditions and movement. As a result, the women incarcerated at WHV were exposed to Sarcoptes scabiei (“scabies”), caused by the spread of parasitic mites. The complaint further alleges that, despite years of complaints, the pleas of the women incarcerated at WHV were largely ignored and unanswered. Defendants failed to provide adequate access to medical care, a properly trained medical staff, screening programs, appropriate medications, appropriate quarantine and disinfecting procedures, and resources to properly examine, test, and treat the women’s obvious symptoms of infestation.

This is a civil rights class action, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the inhumane, dangerous, and unconstitutional conditions endured by Plaintiffs and other similarly situated women at WHV. Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and members of the proposed Classes, bring claims for violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and for gross negligence. They seek class certification, monetary damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief.

Nichols Kaster, PLLP is co-counsel with Marko Law, PLLC; Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni Rivers PC; Law Office of David S. Steingold, PLLC; and Excolo Law on this matter.

Type of Case

Prisoner Rights


Am I eligible?

This case seeks to represent two classes:

  • Current and Former Inmate Class: This case seeks to represent a class of all current and former detainees and inmates in WHV who, while incarcerated at WHV, had a skin rash consistent with a scabies infestation and who were denied treatment, or whose delayed treatment caused the condition to worsen, since November 2016. 
  • Injunctive Relief Class: This case seeks to represent an injunctive relief class on behalf of all WHV inmates since November of 2016. 

If you have questions about whether you are included in these classes, contact us.

Additional Information

What is a Class Action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people, called the “class representatives,” sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. Together, this group of people is called a “class” or “class members.” The class representative and the class members together are called the “Plaintiffs.” The companies they sue are called the “Defendants.” The judge or jury resolves the claims for everyone in the class—except those who ask to be excluded from the lawsuit.

How Long Will This Case Take?

Class actions can often take years.  Please check this page periodically for updates on the case’s status.

How Do I Join This Case?

As part of our investigatory efforts, we are interested in speaking with others who are or were incarcerated at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility and believe they were treated unlawfully.

You may contact us toll free at 1-877-448-0492, write to us at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, 4700 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or email Haley Thompson at

Case Updates

  • March 7, 2023

    Women’s Huron Valley Scabies Litigation Case Update

    An update letter was mailed out during the week of February 13, 2023. If you are a class member with a signed a legal services agreement but have not received the update letter, please allow two weeks for delivery before contacting us to request another letter.

    The mediation scheduled for February did not take place. The parties have been ordered to mediate, and we remain committed to mediating these claims.

    As a reminder: We are not able to give mediation updates over the phone. General updates will be posted in this space, and substantive updates will be provided only through update letters to all of our class members. If you have questions or concerns outside of mediation, please feel free to contact us.

  • January 27, 2023

    Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc. Case Update

    The parties began mediating the case on December 8, 2023. Another round of mediation will occur in late February 2023. The parties will continue to mediate.

  • May 9, 2022

    Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc. Case Update

    The Court issued an order staying litigation in this case and ordering the parties to exchange information to facilitate good-faith settlement discussions.

  • July 21, 2021

    Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc. Case Update

    The Court denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss. See the order here.

  • March 31, 2021

    Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc. Case Update

    On September 25, 2020, Plaintiffs filed an amended consolidated master class action complaint and moved to reopen the case. On March 31, 2021, the Court issued an order granting Plaintiffs’ motion. See the amended complaint here.

  • August 24, 2020

    Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc. Case Update

    The Court denied MDOC’s motion for summary judgment but granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss. Plaintiffs’ initial complaint was dismissed without prejudice.

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