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06.09.2020

A landmark federal court decision on May 20, 2020, will permit Edward Kovari’s constitutional and state-law tort claims to proceed to trial against three private prisoner transportation companies that, over the course of a three-week trip from Virginia to Texas, subjected him to prolonged unsanitary and inhumane conditions in the back of their transport van while denying him access to much-needed medical care.

Relman Colfax PLLC represents Mr. Kovari in his litigation against Brevard Extraditions, LLC, Prisoner Transportation Services of America, LLC, and Prisoner Transportation Services, LLC, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The evidence and arguments presented by Mr. Kovari provide a detailed roadmap to others seeking to challenge the inhumane and unconstitutional practices of private prisoner transportation companies.

In his May 20 decision, 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. Based on the evidence Mr. Kovari amassed, Judge Urbanski held that a jury could find that Defendants’ policies and practices themselves caused the constitutional injuries at issue. Indeed, the decision outlines the myriad forms of evidence that could support a jury finding that Defendants “maintain unconstitutional policies and customs.” The court also held that Mr. Kovari had presented evidence that Defendants were aware that their policies put passengers at grave risk of harm but nevertheless failed to act.

The Relman Colfax team is led by Jia Cobb, Lila Miller, and Glenn Schlactus with paralegal assistance from Perry Abdulkadir, Amanda Borquaye, Brittany Lee, and Allison Verrilli.

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