Team Led By HSR Partner Lori Rifkin Wins Federal Court Order for Gender Confirmation Surgery for Transgender Woman in Idaho Prison
On December 13, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho ordered the Idaho Department of Corrections and its for-profit medical contractor Corizon to provide gender confirmation surgery to Plaintiff Adree Edmo within six months. For years, Defendants IDOC and Corizon have been refusing Ms. Edmo the surgery medically necessary to treat her severe gender dysphoria.
"I am relieved and grateful that the court validated my right to necessary medical treatment," said plaintiff Adree Edmo. "Not having the care I need is like being in a prison within a prison. Even though I am still living, it has felt like I have been dying inside."
The federal court validated Ms. Edmo's constitutional right to necessary and adequate medical treatment, holding:
"The Rule of Law, which is the bedrock of our legal system, promises that all individuals will be afforded the full protection of our legal system and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. This is so whether the individual seeking that protection is black, white, male, female, gay, straight, or, as in this case, transgender."
The court reached its decision to order a preliminary injunction after a three-day evidentiary hearing and extensive briefing. "In refusing to provide surgery, IDOC and Corizon have ignored generally accepted medical standards for the treatment of gender dysphoria," the court ruled. "This constitutes deliberate indifference to Ms. Edmo's serious medical needs and violates her rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
Hadsell Stormer Renick attorneys Lori Rifkin and Shaleen Shanbhag, along with co-counsel from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Ferguson Durham, PLLC represent Ms. Edmo in the lawsuit Edmo v. Idaho Department of Correction. HSR partner Lori Rifkin is the lead attorney for Ms. Edmo.
"Healthcare providers have known for decades how to provide effective and life-saving medical care to transgender people," Lori Rifkin said, "Our laws require the state officials running prisons to provide necessary health treatment to the people in their care. Instead, Corizon and IDOC put Ms. Edmo's life at risk."