Four inmates who contracted Valley fever while housed at prisons across the region are suing state officials including Gov. Jerry Brown, saying they knew of the fungal infection’s dangers but did nothing to protect prisoners.
The legal actions are the latest in a string of federal civil rights lawsuits filed by multiple Southern California law firms on behalf of inmates housed mainly at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons who have contracted the fungal infection. Pleasant Valley is located in Coalinga. One lawsuit filed late last year has 45 plaintiffs from the two prisons. A third, filed in July 2013, seeks class-action status on behalf of African Americans, those older than 55 and others with compromised immune systems who contracted Valley fever while at either prison.