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Case Name Weston v. Wyoming State Training School ID-WY-0001
Docket / Court Civil Action C90-0004 ( D. Wyo. )
State/Territory Wyoming
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
In 1990, prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a group of residents of the Wyoming State Training School, an institution that housed individuals with intellectual disabilities, brought this lawsuit. Represented by the Wyoming Protection and Advocacy System, the plaintiffs ... read more >
In 1990, prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a group of residents of the Wyoming State Training School, an institution that housed individuals with intellectual disabilities, brought this lawsuit. Represented by the Wyoming Protection and Advocacy System, the plaintiffs sought to remedy unconstitutional conditions and statutory violations at the institution and aimed to force Wyoming to create community living options for many of its residents.

Though it predated the ADA (and the ADA interpretation endorsed by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C.), the lawsuit alleged numerous legal violations. The plaintiffs alleged violations of state and federal disability-focused statutes, most prominently Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Medicaid. The plaintiffs also alleged violations of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) based on the institutions' failures to assess the individual needs of and provide educational services to school-age children in the institution. Finally, via 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiffs alleged that the institution and its officials violated the U.S. Constitution (including a number of Due Process-based liberty interests and Equal Protection).

The Complaint detailed an extensive set of inhumane and neglectful circumstances that led to these violations. Individuals in the Wyoming State Training School were not individually assessed or provided with sufficient habilitation, training, and treatment for their needs. Staff routinely failed to protect residents from abuse and physical injuries (including self-inflicted injuries). There was insufficient space and lack of privacy for the residents. Residents were not provided socialization, stimulation, education, therapy, or training in self-care. Staff were overwhelmed, unsupported and not provided with adequate training.

The Complaint further alleged that the plaintiffs had a right to live in the community where possible, and that the state was responsible for providing the services that would allow Training School residents to live in integrated settings.

The litigation process moved toward settlement. On April 27, 1990, the parties stipulated to the certification of the class and entered a Stipulation to Establish the Framework for Settlement. In this Stipulation, the parties laid out areas to resolve, appointed an expert committee to carry out the negotiation, made plans to provide for the immediate needs of the plaintiffs, and set ground rules for future negotiation. In July 1990, the parties entered a stipulation on the immediate needs of the plaintiffs, which included the creation of an Immediate Needs Assessment Team to engage in the necessary individualized planning for each plaintiff.

After several more months of discovery and negotiations, the parties entered a complete Settlement Agreement on March 31, 1991 to address the needs of both those residing at the institution and individuals with disabilities who would be at risk of placement in the institution without additional support services. The Agreement sought to substantially improve conditions at the Wyoming State Training School. It covered the nature of the institution, its staffing, educational opportunities, and individualized planning, with substantial monitoring and reporting requirements. The agreement also sought to increase the availability of community placement options. The parties selected a Compliance Advisory Board (CAB) composed of two experts who would both assist in carrying out the agreement and report to the court on its implementation.

The CAB continued to report to the court until the fall of 1994. During this period, a bout of litigation emerged in the case over the placement of class member Sara Kawulok. With the Kawulok issue resolved and substantial progress documented, the parties agreed to relieve the CAB of its reporting requirements in late 1994. The parties entered a permanent settlement in October 1994 and in December 1994, the court dismissed its jurisdiction over the case.

Beth Kurtz - 11/27/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Education
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Individualized planning
Neglect by staff
Reassessment and care planning
Record-keeping
Sanitation / living conditions
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
ICF/MR & HCFA standards
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) Wyoming State Training School
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs were individuals with intellectual disabilities who were housed in the Wyoming State Training School, a state facility.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1994
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:90-cv-4 (D. Wyo.) 12/30/1996
ID-WY-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 01/03/1990
ID-WY-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 03/16/1990
ID-WY-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Class Certification 03/16/1990
ID-WY-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Defendants' Motion in Opposition of Class Certification 04/19/1990
ID-WY-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Brief in Oppostition of Class Action 04/19/1990
ID-WY-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulation to Establish Framework for Settlement 04/27/1990
ID-WY-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulation of Class Action Certification 04/27/1990
ID-WY-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order of Class Action Certification 04/30/1990 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Affidavits of Publication 04/30/1990
ID-WY-0001-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulation on Immediate Needs Issues 07/13/1990
ID-WY-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Modification of Stipulation 07/13/1990
ID-WY-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order Modifying Stipulation 07/24/1990 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order Adopting Stipulation on Immediate Needs Issues 07/24/1990 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Notice of Pendency of Class Action 07/25/1990
ID-WY-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Notice of Partial Compromise (establishing team of experts to address immediate needs of plaintiffs) 08/02/1990
ID-WY-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Motion for Defendants to Provide Immediate Access to PRotection and Advocacy System, Inc. To All Records of Class Members at The Wyoming State Training School 12/06/1990
ID-WY-0001-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulated Agreement (Full Settlement) 03/31/1991
ID-WY-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order Adopting Stipulation on Attorney Fees 06/28/1991 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Consent Decree and Order 07/01/1991 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Appendix A - Procedures for Adding or Deleting Class Members 08/02/1991
ID-WY-0001-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Independent Death Review Committee and Procedures 10/28/1991
ID-WY-0001-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Compliance Advisory Board Budgets 10/29/1991
ID-WY-0001-0024.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Plaintiff's six month review and report to compliance advisory board 11/05/1991
ID-WY-0001-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Findings and Directives of the Compliance Advisory Board regarding The Four Year Plan Dispute 02/12/1992
ID-WY-0001-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulation Modifying Consent Decree 02/21/1992
ID-WY-0001-0026.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Motion for Modification of Consent Decree 02/25/1992
ID-WY-0001-0027.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
First Order Modifying the Consent Decree 02/26/1992 (D. Wyo.)
ID-WY-0001-0028.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
2nd Semi-Annual Report to the CAB 03/19/1992
ID-WY-0001-0029.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Wyoming State Training School Draft Four year Plan Beginning January 1992 (Revision Date May 8, 1992) 05/26/1992
ID-WY-0001-0030.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Re: Third Semi-Annual Report to the Compliance Advisory Board 09/10/1992
ID-WY-0001-0032.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Petition for Judicial Review 09/30/1992
ID-WY-0001-0031.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Re: Semi Annual Report 09/10/1993
ID-WY-0001-0033.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulated Agreement 11/18/1993
ID-WY-0001-0034.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Johnson, Alan Bond (D. Wyo.) [Magistrate]
ID-WY-0001-0012 | ID-WY-0001-0013 | ID-WY-0001-0014 | ID-WY-0001-0015 | ID-WY-0001-0018 | ID-WY-0001-0019 | ID-WY-0001-0028
Monitors/Masters Blanck, Peter (New York)
ID-WY-0001-0023 | ID-WY-0001-0025 | ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0030 | ID-WY-0001-0032 | ID-WY-0001-0034
Kaska, Sondra B. (Ohio)
ID-WY-0001-0023 | ID-WY-0001-0025 | ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0030 | ID-WY-0001-0032 | ID-WY-0001-0034
Plaintiff's Lawyers Davis, Michael K. (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-9000
O'Donnell, Michael (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0002 | ID-WY-0001-0003 | ID-WY-0001-0004 | ID-WY-0001-0007 | ID-WY-0001-0010 | ID-WY-0001-0011 | ID-WY-0001-0016
Reese, Michael (West Virginia)
ID-WY-0001-0001 | ID-WY-0001-0002 | ID-WY-0001-0003 | ID-WY-0001-0004 | ID-WY-0001-0007 | ID-WY-0001-0010 | ID-WY-0001-0011 | ID-WY-0001-0016 | ID-WY-0001-0019 | ID-WY-0001-0020 | ID-WY-0001-0021 | ID-WY-0001-0022 | ID-WY-0001-0024 | ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0030 | ID-WY-0001-0031 | ID-WY-0001-0032 | ID-WY-0001-0033 | ID-WY-0001-0034 | ID-WY-0001-9000
Thobro, Jeanne (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0033
Wilde, Danny S. (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0001 | ID-WY-0001-0002 | ID-WY-0001-0003 | ID-WY-0001-0004 | ID-WY-0001-0007 | ID-WY-0001-0008 | ID-WY-0001-0009 | ID-WY-0001-0010 | ID-WY-0001-0011 | ID-WY-0001-0016 | ID-WY-0001-0019 | ID-WY-0001-0021 | ID-WY-0001-0022 | ID-WY-0001-0026 | ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0030 | ID-WY-0001-0031 | ID-WY-0001-0032 | ID-WY-0001-0033 | ID-WY-0001-0034 | ID-WY-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coll, Dennis (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0001 | ID-WY-0001-0005 | ID-WY-0001-0006 | ID-WY-0001-0007 | ID-WY-0001-0008 | ID-WY-0001-0009 | ID-WY-0001-0010 | ID-WY-0001-0011 | ID-WY-0001-0019
Freudenthal, Steven F. (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-9000
Heckert, Rowena L. (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0026 | ID-WY-0001-0027
Kingston, Shirley (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0021 | ID-WY-0001-0022 | ID-WY-0001-0026 | ID-WY-0001-0029 | ID-WY-0001-0030 | ID-WY-0001-0032 | ID-WY-0001-0034 | ID-WY-0001-9000
Meyer, Joseph B. (Wyoming)
ID-WY-0001-0001 | ID-WY-0001-0019
Other Lawyers None on record

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