On April 30, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP client, Russell Showers, and reversed the dismissal of his civil rights complaint in Showers v. Rodgers, et al.

Mr. Showers had been suffering from debilitating neck and back pain while incarcerated at a state correctional institution in Pennsylvania, and sued prison medical staff and officers for failing to provide adequate medical treatment during a span of at least five years, in violation of his constitutional rights.

The District Court had found that Mr. Showers had failed to exhaust administrative remedies as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) because some of his grievances were not fully exhausted when he first filed suit, ignoring the fact that Mr. Showers diligently pursued his administrative remedies and had fully exhausted those remedies by the time he filed his amended and operative complaint. Today, the Third Circuit made clear that exhaustion is measured as of the time of the amended complaint and that the PLRA does not impose a complete exhaustion rule. The Third Circuit also reversed the dismissal of a fourth claim based on the record available at the motion to dismiss stage.

KHF, along with co-counsel from the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, has represented Mr. Showers before the Third Circuit since 2023. KHF’s pro bono representation of Mr. Showers reflects the firm’s commitment to fighting for justice and advocating for the rights of the incarcerated.

Read the opinion here.