A federal panel has refused to coordinate lawsuits filed on behalf of inmates in Texas state prisons who died or suffered heat strokes from soaring temperatures during the summers of 2011 and 2012.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and its executive director, Brad Livingston, represented by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, moved on July 14 to transfer seven cases for pretrial purposes to U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in the Southern District of Texas, where a class action is pending on behalf of inmates of the Wallace Pack Unit, a geriatric prison facility near Houston. Jeffrey Edwards of Edwards Law in Austin, who represents the plaintiffs in most of the cases, supported the move.
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