How FJI Uses Impact Litigation to Fight for ‘Mr. Murillo’

Although people are sent to prison as punishment for a crime, as human beings they are still entitled to adequate medical care. In addition to being the morally right thing to do, it improves the chances that they can rejoin society ready to make positive changes in the world.

Unfortunately, in Florida prisons, the medical care can be dangerously inadequate, often with disastrous results. Florida Justice Institute is using impact litigation to be part of the solution, helping to stop the unnecessary death and suffering of incarcerated people.

For example, in 2017, we were contacted by several individuals in prison who were ill with Hepatitis C. We learned that hundreds had died from the disease, and thousands more were suffering from its serious effects.  We also learned that there were medications available that could easily cure the disease—medications that were not available in the prison system because of their costs.

We acted quickly, assembling a lawsuit. Florida Justice Institute helped individuals like Mr. Murillo* to receive these medications. When he first found FJI, Mr. Murillo had lost over 20 pounds because of Hepatitis C, and he feared that if FJI could not help him, he would become seriously ill—just like thousands of other individuals in prison.

Now, Mr. Murillo is back to exercising five days a week, he is a law clerk at the prison law library and recommends FJI to individuals who are fighting cruel injustices.

“I am so grateful for everyone at Florida Justice Institute, and for everything you all did for me. All the guys that got medication, they still thank me every day. I tell them, don’t thank me, thank God – and thank the people that worked on this; they did everything.”

– Mr. Murillo

Life-saving medicine didn’t come quickly for Mr. Murillo, and unfortunately one of the individuals we represented passed away in the process.  But now, everyone in prison with hepatitis C—tens of thousands of people—will be properly evaluated, and will have access to treatment, thanks to YOU.

The impact we can have in our communities is deeply rooted.  We are changing policies to ensure individuals who are sometimes forgotten are instead valued as worthy human beings.

*FJI is using the alias, “Mr. Murillo,” as an alias to protect the client’s anonymity.

This blog was first published on December 26, 2022.

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