Seven HIV-positive inmates have sued the state, claiming they were ridiculed, harassed, and threatened after their medical records were released to the prison population.
The lawsuits, filed in the Ohio Court of Claims, stem from an incident in June at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. Prison officials put a record of inmates being treated for HIV in a place where it could be released to other prisoners, according to the suits. The prisoners say copies were made and are continuing to be circulated.
In its first response to the suits, the state denied the allegations. It gave a number of defenses (that it is immune from liability, that the inmates are not entitled to the damages they seek and that the HIV-positive inmates or other people “for whose conduct (the) defendant cannot be liable” caused the alleged injuries).
The prisoners claim they were subjected to hazing, harassment, ridicule, taunts and threats that caused “extreme” emotional distress, anxiety and fear for their safety.
Court of Claims Judge Alan Travis recently set a trial for June.