University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Benjamin v. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare PB-PA-0011
Docket / Court 1:09-cv-01182-JEJ ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Steve Gold
Case Summary
Individuals with developmental disabilities residing in Pennsylvania's ICF/MR ("intermediate care facilities/mental retardation") institutions filed this lawsuit claiming that they are inappropriately denied the opportunity to receive services in the community, in violation of the Americans with ... read more >
Individuals with developmental disabilities residing in Pennsylvania's ICF/MR ("intermediate care facilities/mental retardation") institutions filed this lawsuit claiming that they are inappropriately denied the opportunity to receive services in the community, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act under the 1999 Supreme Court precedent Olmstead v. L.C.. The Plaintiffs argue that they are inappropriately institutionalized. They allege that they are candidates for community placement and that they wish to live in the community, but the state's policies and procedures (including the failure to use certain state assessment tools, the limitation on the availability of Consolidated Waiver funds, and the state's failure to accept funds from the federal government's "Money Follows the Person" program) prevent their community placement. The Plaintiffs filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on June 22, 2009.

The district court (Judge John E. Jones) granted the Plaintiffs' motion for class certification on September 2, 2009. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on on September 24, 2009, but the court denied their motion on January 25, 2010.

On November 10, 2009, a group of ICF/MR residents who wished to continue residing in institutions filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, claiming that their interests weren't adequately represented by the class. The District Court (Judge Jones) denied this motion on March 10, 2010, finding that the proposed intervenors would not be considered part of the class (because the class was defined by its members' desire to live in the community) and that their interests were not sufficiently affected by the case, because the outcome would only affect those who wanted to leave institutions. On April 5, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the denial of intervention. 432 Fed.Appx. 94.

In June 2010, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. The United States (DOJ Civil Rights Division) filed a brief supporting the Plaintiffs' motion. On January 27, 2011, the court granted summary judgment for the Plaintiffs. Then, on April 29, 2011, the parties entered a settlement agreement and received the court's preliminary approval.

The settlement agreement will, if adopted, create a "Planning List" for ICF/MR residents who wish to transition to the community. The State will implement an integration plan that would move 50 to 100 ICF/MR residents to the community each year for a period of five years and will continue to move individuals on the Planning List to the community until no remaining class members are left in ICF/MR facilities.

In the period leading up to the court's fairness hearing on the class settlement agreement, the group of proposed intervenors (the same individuals whose intervention had been previously denied) once again moved to intervene. On August 16, 2011, the District Court once again denied this motion. Then, on September 2, 2011, the court held a fairness hearing and gave its final approval to the settlement agreement.

The proposed intervenors, however, once again appealed their denial of intervention to the Third Circuit. On December 12, 2012, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court, finding this time that the proposed intervenors had established that they would be adversely affected by the implementation of the settlement agreement, as some ICF/MR institutions would likely close as a result. Therefore, intervention in conjunction with the remedial stage was appropriate. The Court of Appeals ordered that the District Court's September 2011 approval of the settlement agreement be vacated and that the pro-institution individuals be permitted to intervene in order to challenge the settlement and seek decertification of the class. 701 F.3d 938.

On June 11, 2014, Plaintiff and Defendants entered into a revised settlement agreement. The revised settlement agreement was a result of mediation between the plaintiffs, defendants, and the intervenors - thus now recognizing all applicable interests in the case. The revised settlement agreement still utilizes a planning list but at an adequate volume and pace given DPW's budget constraints and administrative burdens. On September 25, 2014, the District Court approved the revised settlement agreement and closed this case.

Beth Kurtz - 03/10/2013
Maria Ricaurte - 02/22/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Wait lists
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in ICF/MR institutions in Pennsylvania but wish to live in the community.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Steve Gold
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
None yet
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
None yet
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2011 - 2016
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:09-cv-1182 (M.D. Pa.) 10/17/2014
PB-PA-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/22/2009
PB-PA-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Unopposed Motion for Class Certification 08/31/2009
PB-PA-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Class Certification 09/02/2009 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss 09/24/2009
PB-PA-0011-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint 09/25/2009
PB-PA-0011-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss 09/30/2009
PB-PA-0011-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Intervenors' Motion for Intervention Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24 11/10/2009
PB-PA-0011-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Intervenors' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Intervention 11/12/2009
PB-PA-0011-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Motion for Intervention Pursuant to Fed. R. CIV. P. 24 11/23/2009
PB-PA-0011-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Denying Motion to Dismiss 01/25/2010 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Denying Motion to Intervene 03/10/2010 (267 F.R.D. 456) (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0023.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 06/23/2010
PB-PA-0011-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 06/23/2010
PB-PA-0011-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of the United States as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 07/07/2010
PB-PA-0011-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 07/14/2010
PB-PA-0011-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying United States Motion to Participate in Settlement Discussions 10/13/2010 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 01/27/2011 (768 F.Supp.2d 747) (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0024.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Circuit Opinion on Denial of Intervention (2011) 04/05/2011 (432 Fed.Appx. 94)
PB-PA-0011-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement and for Approval of the Class Notice 05/26/2011
PB-PA-0011-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Preliminary Approval of Settlement 05/26/2011 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Intervene 08/02/2011
PB-PA-0011-0026.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Support by the United States 08/02/2011
PB-PA-0011-0027.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Intervene 08/16/2011 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0028.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Giving Final Approval to Settlement 09/02/2011 (807 F.Supp.2d 201) (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0029.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Circuit Opinion on Denial of Intervention (2012) 12/12/2012 (701 F.3d 938)
PB-PA-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Revised Settlement Agreement 06/11/2014
PB-PA-0011-0034.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/25/2014 (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0033.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Carlson, Martin C. (M.D. Pa.) [Magistrate]
PB-PA-0011-0021 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Cowen, Robert E. (D.N.J., Third Circuit) [Magistrate]
PB-PA-0011-0002
Jones, John E. III (M.D. Pa.)
PB-PA-0011-0006 | PB-PA-0011-0013 | PB-PA-0011-0023 | PB-PA-0011-0024 | PB-PA-0011-0025 | PB-PA-0011-0028 | PB-PA-0011-0029 | PB-PA-0011-0033 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Stapleton, Walter King (Third Circuit, D. Del.)
PB-PA-0011-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Darr, Kelly L. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0002 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Gold, Stephen F. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-0003 | PB-PA-0011-0004 | PB-PA-0011-0007 | PB-PA-0011-0012 | PB-PA-0011-0015 | PB-PA-0011-0016 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Haubert, Dynah E. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-9000
Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-0002 | PB-PA-0011-0003 | PB-PA-0011-0004 | PB-PA-0011-0007 | PB-PA-0011-0012 | PB-PA-0011-0015 | PB-PA-0011-0016 | PB-PA-0011-0017 | PB-PA-0011-0034 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Murphy, Mark J. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-0003 | PB-PA-0011-0004 | PB-PA-0011-0007 | PB-PA-0011-0012 | PB-PA-0011-0015 | PB-PA-0011-0016 | PB-PA-0011-0017 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Resnick, Robin (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-0004 | PB-PA-0011-0007 | PB-PA-0011-0012 | PB-PA-0011-0015 | PB-PA-0011-0016 | PB-PA-0011-0017
Defendant's Lawyers Fellin, Daniel (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0034 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Leisch, Doris M. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0002 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Ulan, Howard (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0005 | PB-PA-0011-0009 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Warshaw, Allen C. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0019 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Other Lawyers Arden, James Daniel (New York)
PB-PA-0011-9000
Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0018 | PB-PA-0011-0027
Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0027
Bohan, Mary (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0027
Esposito, Lesli C. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Goldstein, Sarah M. (New York)
PB-PA-0011-0010 | PB-PA-0011-0011 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Gross, Mark L. (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0002
Heep, Jeremy D. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0002
Heller, Nathan P. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-9000
Hoffart, Benjamin J. (New York)
PB-PA-0011-0002 | PB-PA-0011-0026 | PB-PA-0011-0034 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Mazor, Marina (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0018 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Murray, William J. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0018 | PB-PA-0011-0027
Pollock, Nathaniel S. (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0002
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0018
Rappaport, Nancy S. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0002
Rato, Michael (New York)
PB-PA-0011-0010 | PB-PA-0011-0011 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Riley, John E. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-0010 | PB-PA-0011-0011 | PB-PA-0011-0026 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Smith, Owen H. (New York)
PB-PA-0011-0001 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0027
Solano, Carl A. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0011-0002 | PB-PA-0011-0034 | PB-PA-0011-9000
Trepel, Samantha Kay (District of Columbia)
PB-PA-0011-0018 | PB-PA-0011-0027 | PB-PA-0011-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -