Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Chimenti … Settled?”

Salvator Chimenti, a Pennsylvania state prisoner who is the named plaintiff in a civil rights suit against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections—the other two plaintiffs are David Maldonado and Daniel Leyva—is suing doc on behalf of thousands of Pennsylvania state prisoners suffering from hepatitis C and its notorious side effects.

That case may have reached a powerful turning point as both sides have reached a proposed settlement agreement. In that proposed settlement, Chimenti et. al versus Pennsylvania DOC proposes to treat 1,500 men, and women of course, who have F2, F3, and F4 Fibrosis or Metavir scores within six months—and an additional 1,500 Hepatitis patients during the next year with powerful drugs known DAAs or direct acting antiviral drugs. After 2020, 2000 people are to be treated annually.

The settlement agreement has to first be approved by the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia after a hearing in early February 2019. If the judge agrees, the go date will be July 1st, 2019. Mr. Chimenti was seeking Hep C treatment as far back as 2010 when it was determined that he suffered stage four cirrhosis of his liver due to the infection. He and his co-plaintiffs filed suit initially in 2015, and in 2017, filed an amended complaint.

Earlier in 2018, the court declared Chimenti a class action. The Chimenti class is represented by renowned civil rights, lawyer David Roduvsky and Su Ming-Yeh of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project in Philadelphia. If this proposed settlement agreement is signed into law, it will be a groundbreaking change in how the state and prisons handle Hepatitis C cases.

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.