This week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a response after defendants filed a motion asking a federal Judge to dismiss a case involving formerly incarcerated individuals at Washington County Detention Center (WCDC). If granted, the dismissal would end the case outright without any opportunity for the plaintiffs to conduct discovery or have a trial.

Last year, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against WCDC, Tim Helder, Sheriff of Washington County, and Dr. Robert Karas. The lawsuit charges the defendants for administering Ivermectin to incarcerated individuals without prior informed consent as to the nature, contents, or potential side effects of the drug.

“Most alarmingly, in their dismissal motion, Sheriff Helder and Dr. Karas routinely mischaracterize the fundamental nature of Plaintiffs’ claims by refusing to mention the most significant allegations in the complaint,” said Gary Sullivan, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “These types of allegations elevate Defendants’ actions beyond mere negligence or medical malpractice and into the realm of a constitutional violation.”

In their Motion for Judgment the defendants never mention the plaintiffs’ allegations that they were never told they were receiving Ivermectin and that the defendants used overt deception by telling them that the drug cocktail merely contained “vitamins,” “antibiotics,” and/or “steroids.”  

Plaintiffs in the case include Edrick Floreal-Wooten, Jeremiah Little, Julio Gonzales, Thomas Fritch and Dayman Blackburn who allege they were deceived over a period of days and possibly weeks, regarding an unknown dose of Ivermectin.