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Class-action status sought for Nebraska inmates’ lawsuit

February 20, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawyers representing 11 Nebraska inmates who sued the state over prison conditions are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed a motion Tuesday seeking the status in federal court.

The lawsuit filed in August 2017 criticizes the state prison system for what the lawsuit calls the excessive use of solitary confinement and gross negligence of inmates’ medical and mental health issues. It also points to persistent overcrowding as well as “dangerous” understaffing.

The organization enlisted at least six experts with experience in treatment of prisoners with mental health, medical and dental needs and their disability rights to back up the filing. The experts detailed in hundreds of pages problems they said extended far beyond just the 11 inmates who filed the lawsuit.

Attorney General Doug Peterson said is reviewing the filings.

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