On April 24, 2018, Relman Colfax filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia on behalf of Edward Kovari against Brevard Extraditions, LLC, Prisoner Transportation Services of America, LLC, and Prisoner Transportation Services, LLC (collectively “Defendants”). Mr. Kovari alleges that Defendants denied him access to medical care and subjected him to extreme and inhumane conditions of confinement over nearly three weeks while transporting him from Winchester, Virginia to Houston, Texas, in an overcrowded prison transport van. The Complaint asserts claims for deprivation of Mr. Kovari’s Constitutional rights because PTS was acting under color of state law, and for violations of state common law. 

Defendants contract with state and local governments nationwide to transport prisoners across state lines, and Prisoner Transportation Services was the largest private prisoner transportation company in the country at the time of Mr. Kovari’s transport, carrying over 100,000 detainees and inmates each year. Defendants denied Mr. Kovari’s requests medical care for his hypertension and other conditions during his September 2016 transport. Defendants also exposed Mr. Kovari to even greater risk by transporting him in a cramped and overcrowded van in extreme temperatures and without access to adequate water, hygiene, or restroom breaks. Upon his arrival in Houston, Mr. Kovari required immediate medical intervention and hospitalization. Other detainees have died or been seriously injured during PTS transports because of the company’s documented history of abuse and mistreatment.

On May 20, 2020, Chief Judge Michael F. Urbanski denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Mr. Kovari’s constitutional claims as well as on Mr. Kovari’s claims that Defendants’ conduct was negligent and grossly negligent. In denying the motion on those claims, Chief Judge Michael F. Urbanski found that Mr. Kovari had presented substantial evidence to support a finding that Defendants’ conduct violated the constitution and that these Constitutional violations were caused by Defendants’ policies and practices.

Case Citation

Kovari v. Brevard Extraditions, LLC, No. 5:18-cv-00070 (W.D. Va.)

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