Cases & Deals

Prisoner's civil rights upheld after being repeatedly placed in solitary confinement

Client(s) Purcell, Tim

Jones Day attorneys brought a long-running and highly contentious pro bono matter to a conclusion in November 2007. The firm was appointed by the W. D. Pa. to represent a federal inmate, Tim Purcell, who claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when, among other things, he was repeatedly placed in solitary confinement. Mr. Purcell suffers from Tourette's syndrome that is triggered by stress and a broad variety of orthopedic maladies. He claimed that he was placed in solitary confinement and otherwise subjected to disciplinary action for involuntary Tourette's outbursts, and that he was repeatedly denied necessary orthopedic supports when he was confined. The case was resolved via a comprehensive settlement, which included provisions for additional Tourette's training to prison guards and administration. The case, which was described by the district court judge as "the case that would never settle," was settled on the day jury selection began, and Jones Day received strong praise from the court for its work on the case.

Purcell v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, et al., CA No. 00-181J(W.D. Pa.)