A July 14, 2023 article in Voices of Monterey Bay, Pain, death and secrets in Monterey County Jail, describes in great detail the failures of Wellpath in providing medical, mental health and dental care in the Monterey County Jail.  In 2013, RBGG and co-counsel sued the County of Monterey and its for-profit medical provider, Wellpath, challenging dangerous and unconstitutional conditions in the County’s Jail. 

On May 11, 2023 RBGG filed a motion in federal court to enforce the settlement agreement and implementation plan in the case that had been approved by the Court in 2015.  The motion asks the Court to sanction Wellpath for failing to meet its Court-ordered requirements in the provision of medical, mental health, and dental care to people incarcerated at the Monterey County Jail.  Links to the motion and supporting documents are provided at the bottom of this post.

The article points out that key information in the Plaintiffs enforcement motion is currently blocked from public view.  The redactions in these pleadings are due to a pending dispute with Wellpath and the County about whether the neutral monitors’ findings should be made public.  Plaintiffs strongly believe they should be.  The matter is pending before Judge Beth Freeman of the Northern District of California.  There is a hearing set for August 24 on the enforcement motion.

The article quotes RBGG’s Cara Trapani:  “’For more than seven and a half years, Wellpath has defied its court-ordered obligations and provided systematically inadequate care to people incarcerated at the Monterey County Jail,’ plaintiffs’ attorney Cara Trapani said in a recent court filing. 

‘The result of Wellpath’s persistent noncompliance with this court’s orders and its own remedial plan is a death rate at the jail more than twice the national average and a suicide rate more than three times the average for California jails,’ Trapani added . . . About Wellpath’s failings, Trapani added, ‘The resulting deficiencies in medical, mental health and dental care cause daily pain and suffering, including serious medical and dental complications, untreated chronic illnesses, suicide attempts and deaths. This court must intervene and order Wellpath to finally meet its remedial obligations.’”

The San Francisco Chronicle published an in-depth article on Wellpath, It’s patients are literally a captive market.  Is this healthcare giant failing them? on July 25, 2023 that discusses the issues at Monterey County Jail and other facilities across California.,

Declaration of Van Swearingen

Declaration of Cara Trapani