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Case Name Lovely H. v. Eggleston DR-NY-0009
Docket / Court 1:05-cv-06920 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On August 3, 2005, a group of disabled persons filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York Human Resources Administration (NYHRA) for violating their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1 ... read more >
On August 3, 2005, a group of disabled persons filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York Human Resources Administration (NYHRA) for violating their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, the Due Process Clauses of both the U.S. and New York State Constitutions, and New York State and City civil rights statutes and regulations.

Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the NYHRA discriminated against them by involuntarily transferring their public benefits cases from their neighborhood welfare center to one of three "hub" centers that were exclusively designated for disabled persons. The plaintiffs further claimed that these "hub" centers segregated disabled persons and failed to provide reasonable accommodations to those whose disability made it difficult to travel. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society of New York and private counsel, asked the court for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, injunctive and declaratory relief, and attorney's fees.

On September 19, 2005, Judge Laura Taylor Swain approved a stipulation between the two parties where the defendant agreed to (1) transfer the named plaintiffs back to their local welfare centers, (2) stop the involuntary transfer of disabled persons, (3) provide the plaintiffs with notice of any voluntary transfers and (4) combine the hearing on the temporary restraining order with the hearing on the preliminary injunction. On November 11, 2005, the Court approved another stipulation where the defendant agreed to stop involuntary transfers and give notice of voluntary transfers.

On April 19, 2006, Judge Swain certified plaintiffs as a class. In the same order, Judge Swain issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the NYHRA from reassigning class members' cases to the hubs and requiring the NYHRA to give the transferred plaintiffs the right to return their case to their local center. This preliminary injunction was suspended on May 16, 2006 after the NYHRA informed the court that it was closing the hub centers.

On December 11, 2006, the plaintiffs amended the complaint to request that the court order the defendant to reopen cases that were closed due to class members failing to attend mandatory meetings at the hub centers.

For the next five years, discovery and negotiations dominated the case. The case was reassigned in November of 2011 to Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

On March 27, 2012, the plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether any of the plaintiff class would be excluded from the collection of compensatory damages, which was denied by Judge Forrest as premature.

Following two more years of discovery, on November 25, 2014, the parties entered into a partial settlement. The agreement included compensation for foregone Cash Assistance benefits, reimbursement for Medicaid-covered expenses, and expungement of sanctions incurred while class members were assigned to hubs. Then, on March 11, 2015, Judge Forrest reviewed a proposed settlement of all claims, preliminarily approving it subject to a fairness hearing.

Under the proposed settlement, the defendant agrees to implement a broad set of policies and practices for class members. This included implementing "Disability Inquiry Methods", written scripts and screening protocols for the staff to identify client disabilities that may pose barriers to complying with program requirements and maintaining access to benefits, as well as any needed Reasonable Accommodation (as defined by the ADA). The agency agreed to have a non-exhaustive list of reasonable accommodations available to identified clients. The agency agreed to help facilitate successful federal disability benefit applications, including a referral to a vendor to assist with appealing a denial of benefits. The agreement also outlined procedures for mandatory pre- and post-reminders for appointments, and protocols for hospitalized and homeless class members. The agency also agreed to additional training, to accept feedback from a Disability Advisory Community Panel, to have court supervised monitoring, and to have more accessible materials available.

On June 22, 2015, Judge Forrest approved the class action settlement. As of April 3, 2016, the parties had not yet agreed on attorney's fees.

Brian Kempfer - 01/28/2014
Kevin Nomura - 04/06/2015
Kat Brausch - 04/07/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Reasonable Accommodation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Integrated setting
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Buildings
Classification / placement
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Government Services (specify)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Medical care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Brain injury
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Learning disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Multiple sclerosis
Schizophrenia
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
State law
Defendant(s) New York Human Resources Administration
Plaintiff Description A group of disabled persons who received public assistance, Medicaid and Foods Stamp benefits from the New York Human Resources Administration and where involuntarily transferred to hubs disabled person-only hubs from local hubs to receive their services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - 2017
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing DR-NY-0008 : Toney-Dick v. Doar (S.D.N.Y.)
Docket(s)
1:05-cv-6920 (S.D.N.Y.) 01/21/2016
DR-NY-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 08/03/2005
DR-NY-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation 09/19/2005 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation 11/10/2005 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Granting Preliminary Injunction] 04/19/2006 (235 F.R.D. 248) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Amending Preliminary Injunction] 05/18/2006 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion to Amend Complaint] 11/15/2006 (2006 WL 3333084) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint 12/11/2006
DR-NY-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [Denying Motion for Summary Judgment] 09/19/2012 (2012 WL 4459463) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Partial Settlement 11/25/2014 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement 03/11/2015 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement 06/22/2015 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Forrest, Katherine Bolan (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0008 | DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-0010 | DR-NY-0009-0011 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Swain, Laura Taylor (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-0004 | DR-NY-0009-0005 | DR-NY-0009-0006
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ashby, Kevin (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Banks, Steven L. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Blum, Richard Elliot (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Edelman, Scott (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Holder, Adriene L. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Kelleher, Kathleen M. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Murphy, Sean Miles (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Ratliff, Kyla (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001
Rosenberg, Scott Alan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Stephens, Kenneth (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007 | DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Walker-Diallo, Carolyn (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Welber, Susan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Williams, Cheryl (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0007
Wu, Carolyn (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Buhta, John Michael (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Calhoun, Martha Anne (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Giovanatti, Neil Anthony (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Pines, Jonathan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Roberts, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Rosinus, David Alan Jr. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Silverberg, Janice Casey (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Sweet, Emily (New York)
DR-NY-0009-9000
Other Lawyers Carter, Zachary W. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0009

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