Deliberate Indifference to a Serious Medical Need – From Both Sides of the V

Taylor D. Brewer
Seth Caroll
Isaac A. Mcbeth
Taylor D. Brewer | Moran Reeves Conn
Seth Caroll | Commonwealth Law Group
Isaac A. Mcbeth | New Strategic Initiatives of Revolution Church
On-Demand: February 21, 2024
Deliberate Indifference to a Serious Medical Need – From Both Sides of the V
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1 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Since 1976, the Supreme Court of the United States has observed the constitutional right to health care for all incarcerated persons. This right has coalesced into three fundamental tenets: (1) the right of access to care; (2) the right to care that is ordered; and (3) the right to professional medical judgment. This CLE examines how different jurisdictions define deliberate indifference to a serious medical need pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, assessing in detail both the subjective and objective components of the claim. This CLE explores the evolution of the doctrine since the precedential ruling of Estelle v. Gamble (1976) nearly 50 years ago, and endeavors to identify the current definition of constitutionally adequate care in corrections. Speakers include a plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel, who will discuss how to pursue and defend the most commonly litigated scenarios of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.

Presented by the Health Law Section.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Define deliberate indifference by statute and recent case law across the country, focusing on how that definition has evolved since establishment of the claim in 1976
  • Examine how different jurisdictions currently apply the subjective and objective elements of deliberate indifference
  • Assess the pursuit and defense of deliberate indifference claims while considering the medical and environmental conditions that most commonly lead to litigation in the correctional setting

Closed-captioning available


Taylor D. Brewer, Partner, Moran Reeves Conn

Taylor Brewer is a partner at Moran Reeves Conn in Richmond, Virginia, where she concentrates her practice on defending health care providers in medical malpractice and regulatory matters. She also represents governmental entities and constitutional officers in civil rights cases. She has authored and is a national speaker on legal issues in correctional health care. Taylor is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of South Carolina School of Law. She is the Chair of the pro bono program at her firm and is the current Vice President of the Board of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, through which she represents pro bono victims of domestic and spousal abuse. Taylor also serves on the Board of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and chairs the organization’s Women’s Section. Outside the office, Taylor enjoys running and spending time with her husband and three young children.


Seth Caroll, Partner, Commonwealth Law Group

Since graduating from William & Mary School of Law, Seth has worked exclusively in litigation. He has more than 15 years of experience in employment, workers’ compensation, personal injury, and civil rights litigation. His experience spans from representing individuals in administrative proceedings and bench trials to jury trials and appeals. Seth primarily focuses on representing individuals whose constitutional rights have been violated at the hands of law enforcement or while incarcerated. He has extensive experience litigating claims against individual officers, municipalities, and government agencies for violations of rights protected by the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In addition to his regular practice, Seth has taken on leadership roles in national and state organizations with regard to issues related to protecting individual constitutional rights. He has authored educational materials and presented at conventions and educational programs on constitutional and state law in the realm of corrections and law enforcement. He a former Chair of the Civil Rights Section for the American Association for Justice, and currently serves at the Vice-Chair of the Police Misconduct Subcommittee. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and the National Police Accountability Project. Seth also periodically serves on committees for the purpose of reviewing proposed changes to laws or rules that impact police reform, correctional reform, and the protection of individual constitutional rights.


FedBar Logo_myLawCLEIsaac A. Mcbeth | New Strategic Initiatives of Revolution Church

Isaac A. McBeth is currently the General Counsel and Director for New Strategic Initiatives of Revolution Church based out of Denver, Colorado. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. McBeth served in the United States Army for 8 years, working as a military intelligence analyst and a drill sergeant. He received a BA in Legal Studies from American Military University and a J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law.

Mr. McBeth began his legal practice at a large Richmond-area law firm in 2011 and subsequently joined a boutique firm, where he specialized in defending malpractice and constitutional claims. During this time, Mr. McBeth also represented veterans seeking relief under the Federal Tort Claims Act in federal court and obtained significant recoveries on their behalf. It was also at this time that Mr. McBeth began teaching courses on federal pretrial practice and procedure at the University of Richmond School of Law as an adjunct faculty member and continues to do so through the present day. In 2015, Mr. McBeth joined the Halperin Law Center and, over the years that followed, specialized in representing those deprived of their constitutional rights by state and federal employees. He was eventually promoted to become a litigation partner with the firm, and has been awarded a number of peer nominated recognitions for his work in civil rights to include being named a Leader in the Law and being selected for Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers Rising Star, and Best Lawyers Ones to Watch.


I. The statute – 42 USC § 1983 – and Estelle v. Gamble (1976)| 2:00pm – 2:10pm

II. Case law defining deliberate indifference | 2:10pm – 2:20pm

III. Subjective and objective components of the claim and the Fourth Circuit’s recent shift on the subjective component | 2:20pm – 2:30pm

IV. Suing constitutional actors for deliberate indifference – current challenges for plaintiffs | 2:30pm – 2:40pm

V. Defending constitutional actors against deliberate indifference – current challenges for defendants | 2:40pm – 2:50pm

VI. Current and forecasted definition of constitutionally adequate care in the correctional setting | 2:50pm – 3:00pm