An Illinois judge is allowing a group of teens to sue Empire for filming the show in the juvenile prison they reside in.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve refused to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit against the hit Fox drama for the taping of the show in the summer of 2015. Two inmates brought a 12-count complaint in August 2016 on behalf of themselves and other young inmates. They alleged that officials at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center placed the inmates on lockdown to accommodate the taping of the Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard show.
The lawsuit also alleges:
That inmates were ordered into “pod” areas and sat there for days.
They were deprived of their daily education, recreational activities, the library, the infirmary and the chapel.
Sick requests were ignored and family visits were eliminated.
Those with diagnosed mental disorders were psychologically damaged by the lockdowns.
Inmates’ due process rights were routinely denied by the lockdowns.
Eve wrote that the plaintiffs have “plausibly stated” a claim and “in fact, [the] plaintiffs’ allegations regarding the denial of access to the infirmary and the rejected sick-call requests — alone — state an actionable claim.” However, she isn’t quite sure that the defendants have a case against the Fox network per se, but she will still allow them to name the company in their lawsuit, particularly in regard to a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, THR noted.
Between the sexual harassment lawsuits at Fox News and this particular lawsuit, parent company 20th Century Fox is not having a good week.