This piece originally appeared on Yahoo News.
A company whose medical care of immigrant detainees at one of the nation’s largest detention centers was criticized in a recent Department of Homeland Security watchdog report has been sued a staggering 1,395 times in federal courts over the last decade, according to a document published by Yahoo News as part of an investigation supported by the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight.
The firm, Nashville-based Correct Care Solutions, is one of the country’s biggest private providers of health care to prisons and immigration detention centers. The number of lawsuits contained in the document, not previously disclosed, is many times higher than previously reported.
While the two largest private prison companies, GEO Group and CoreCivic, are often at the center of debates over outsourcing imprisonment and immigrant detention, thousands of other companies like Correct Care Solutions are also involved in this multibillion-dollar industry. These companies are largely unknown to the public and even to some policymakers. Yet the health care companies, especially, can have life-and-death impacts.
A privately held company founded in 2003 and owned by two private equity funds, Correct Care Solutions has annual revenues estimated at $1.2 billion. It turned over its litigation history of 1,395 cases “only after significant resistance and pursuit in court,” said Darold Killmer, a Denver-based civil rights lawyer who has represented multiple clients who have sued Correct Care Solutions.
“The list shows that the company’s incessant push for profits at the expense of providing necessary medical care has foreseeably led to corner-cutting, resulting in deaths and untreated injuries of countless people,” he added. Killmer, who described the company as “an extraordinarily secretive firm,” obtained the list during discovery for an upcoming case in federal court in Wyoming. “CCS has for years resisted allowing anyone to see such a compilation, but their tactics of evasion and avoidance were not tolerated” by the judge in the case, Kilmer said.
Correct Care Solutions is using secrecy to try to shield itself from scrutiny and financial responsibility for the medical problems it has caused, according to Kilmer. “Such cynical and intentional conduct is designed specifically to eliminate the possibility that the public or government regulators will detect this massive pattern of misconduct,” he said. “And so far, they’ve largely gotten away with it.”