In May 2012, the lawsuit styled the Vega v. Davis, Civil Action 1:12-cv-01144-RPM, was filed by the family of José Martin Vega in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The defendants in the case are certain agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The case relates to the May 2010 suicide of Mr. Vega, who at the time of his death was a prisoner that the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado (“ADX”). The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Vega’s suicide resulted from untreated mental illness. It seeks unspecified monetary damages.
In June 2012, the lawsuit styled Bacote v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, Civil Action 1:12-cv-01570, was filed by eleven prisoners at ADX in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The defendants in the case are the Federal Bureau of Prisons and certain BOP officials who are responsible for the operation of ADX. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have violated BOP policy and the United States Constitution by failing to properly diagnose and treat prisoners at ADX with serious mental illness. It seeks a court order requiring a reformation of the mental health care system at ADX, among other relief. In December 2012, the original namesake of the case, Michael Bacote, asked to withdraw from the case. As a result, the first-named plaintiff is now Harold Cunningham, and the shorthand case name is Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Both lawsuits have been assigned to Senior United States District Judge Richard P. Matsch. In late 2012, the defendants in both cases filed motions to dismiss them. Judge Matsch scheduled those motions for a hearing on April 23, 2013. After hearing argument, the Court denied both motions (excepting several peripheral issues) and set a further scheduling and planning conference for May 24, 2013.
Certain information relating to the Vega case and Cunningham case will be posted on this site from time to time.