On December 1, 2000, parents of a physically and developmentally disabled individual filed a lawsuit under various Illinois state law claims against the Director of Illinois Department of Public Aid in the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, Illinois. Plaintiff, represented by Prairie State Legal Services, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming Defendant violated his rights when his in-home nursing services were reduced.
Plaintiff was diagnosed with brain cancer as a child; as a result of the cancer, a stroke, and subsequent treatment, Plaintiff presented a very complex medical case requiring round-the-clock care and about 25 medications per day. From the time between when Plaintiff's private medical insurance terminated and he turned twenty-one, Plaintiff received sixteen hours of in-home nursing per day under the Medicaid Program for Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent Children (MFTDC program). After he turned twenty-one, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) reduced this to five hours of in-home nursing per day. Plaintiff and his parents desire community-based treatment, and state treatment professionals found that it was appropriate. Plaintiff's cost of care in a hospital ($29,000 per month) would exceed the cost of care in his home ($20,000 per month).
Plaintiff later amended the complaint to allege violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA). On December 14, 2001, Defendants removed the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
On April 30, 2002, the Court (Judge John W. Darrah) granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' motion to remand to state court. The Court remanded Plaintiffs' state law claims and retained jurisdiction of Plaintiffs' federal law claims.
The Court granted Defendants' motion for judging on the pleadings on September 10, 2002. The Court held that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' holding in Walker v. Snyder, 213 F.3d 344 (7th Cir. 2000), required that Plaintiffs' ADA claim under Title II fail. The Court also dismissed Plaintiffs' RA claims, holding that the RA does not require the State to create and fund a program that does not already exist; instead, the RA requires even-handed treatment of developmentally and physically disabled persons relative to persons who do not have disabilities.
On September 8, 2004, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Ilana Kara Diamond Rovner) reversed the District Court and remanded the case for further proceedings. Radaszewski v. Garner, 383 F.3d 599 (7th Cir. 2004). First, the Court recognized that the Supreme Court's holding in Board of Trustees of Univ. of Alabama v. Garrett, 531 U.S. 356 (2001) recognized the right of a private plaintiff to assert an ADA claim for injunctive relief against a state official in federal court. The Court then proceeded to the merits of Plaintiff's claim and concluded that the Court held that the District Court erred in entering judgment on the pleadings in Defendants' favor.
On March 29, 2006, the District Court found that there was no final enforceable settlement agreement between the parties. Radaszewski v. Maram, 2006 WL 861243 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2006). The parties had exchanged numerous settlement offers, both written and verbal, and had submitted memoranda regarding the status of the settlement proceedings. The parties had disagreed about whether an enforceable settlement agreement had been reached.
There was a bench trial beginning September 10, 2007. At time of trial, Plaintiff was receiving 16 hours of private-duty nursing per day pursuant to the injunction entered by the state court.
The Court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law after the bench trial on March 26, 2008. Radaszewski v. Maram, 2008 WL 2097382 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 26, 2008). The Court held that Plaintiff had sufficiently stated and proved a claim under the ADA and RA. The Court entered judgment in Plaintiff's favor; the parties were ordered to meet, confer, and submit a proposed order setting forth appropriate relief consistent with the Court's opinion.
On May 9, 2008, the Court issued a permanent injunction. The order enjoined Defendant from reducing coverage for Plaintiff to less than sixteen hours per day of skilled nursing services at his parents' home. Plaintiff was also awarded costs and fees, and the Court retained jurisdiction for purposes of enforcing the injunction. The case was closed, and there has been no further litigation.Haley Waller - 02/18/2011