University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Hunter v. Cook PB-GA-0007
Docket / Court 1:08-cv-02930-TWT ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Case Summary
On September 18, 2008, a child with severe mental and physical disabilities filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, under the Medicaid Act 42 U.S.C. §1396, and 42 U.S.C. §1983, against the agency that is responsible for administering Medicaid in the state of ... read more >
On September 18, 2008, a child with severe mental and physical disabilities filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, under the Medicaid Act 42 U.S.C. §1396, and 42 U.S.C. §1983, against the agency that is responsible for administering Medicaid in the state of Georgia. The plaintiff, represented by attorneys from the Georgia Advocacy Office, sought temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated his rights and due process in their procedure for deciding how many hours of private duty nursing hours he would receive.

On September 9, 2008, the District Court (Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr.) granted a temporary restraining order compelling the defendants to provide all hours of private duty nursing that the plaintiff's treating physician had requested (168 hours/week). On November 3rd, the Court (Judge Thrash) granted in part and denied in part the Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, preventing the defendants from enforcing any of their policies that would limit or reduce the number of private duty nursing hours a patient could receive that were not based on medical necessity. The injunction also decreased the number of hours of nursing the plaintiff received based on a schedule created by a physician working for the defendant.

Following a surgical operation, plaintiff required increased nursing hours and filed for a second temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. On February 17, 2010, the District Court (Judge Thrash) granted these motions, compelling the defendants to provide significantly increased hours of private nursing.

Counsel for the plaintiff filed its second, and final, amended complaint on September 27, 2011. This complaint named five plaintiffs, all of whom had significant health problems. This final complaint reaffirms the allegations from the first while adding a Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment cause for action, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) prohibition on policies that have the discriminatory effect of segregating individuals with disabilities from the general population. Their argument is that the non-medically based denial of private, in-home nursing care will lead to the institutionalization, and thus segregation of the plaintiffs. See Olmstead v. L.C. ex rel. Zimring, 527 U.S. 581, 119 S. Ct. 2176, 144 L. Ed. 2d 540 (1999).

The District Court (Judge Thrash) granted a motion on behalf of the only plaintiff who was eighteen years old for a temporary restraining order compelling the defendants to provide the nursing care requested by a treating physician. On June 15, 2012, the District Court (Judge Thrash) entered an order and opinion granting a permanent injunction that extended the effect of that restraining order. The defendant initially appealed this decision but it was voluntarily dismissed.

On August 2, 2012, the District Court (Judge Thrash) denied the plaintiff's motion to certify the class because the plaintiffs failed to provide any evidence that indicated how many people would be able to make the same allegations against the defendant.

The defendant filed a motion for partial summary judgment on January 30, 2013, claiming that the plaintiffs had not provided enough evidence to prove its allegations regarding the Medicare Act, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, and the ADA. The United States filed a brief as an interested party hoping to clarify the law regarding the ADA claim, urging the District Court to deny the motion for partial summary judgment. On May 22, 2013, the District Court (Judge Thrash) issued an order granting the motion for partial summary judgment as it pertained to some elements of the Medicare Act claim as well as the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. The Court (Judge Thrash) denied the motion with regard to other Medicare Act allegations in addition to the ADA claim.

On August 5, 2013, the defendants offered the four remaining defendants a settlement consisting of individual nursing care plans and admitting no fault. Two of the defendants accepted this settlement offer.

On September 27, 2013, following a three day bench trial, the District Court (Judge Thrash) issued an opinion and order prohibiting the defendant from reducing the number of hours of private nursing care below eighteen per day, for a period of 180 days or until further order of the court. This decision applied to both of the plaintiffs.

On October 25, 2013, the defendant filed to appeal this order and the order granting the permanent injunction to the eighteen-year-old plaintiff (US Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit case # 13-14950). The appeal was declared moot with regard to two of the plaintiffs, one of whom passed away, while the other turned twenty-one, precluding him from the relevant Medicare statute. The appeal of the order for the original plaintiff is ongoing. Any decision regarding his motions for costs and attorney's fees is stayed pending appeal.

Benjamin St. Pierre - 09/26/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
General
Government Services (specify)
Payment for care
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Community Health
Georgia Medical Care Foundation, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Adolescents with severe physical and mental disabilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:08-cv-02930-TWT (N.D. Ga.) 06/12/2014
PB-GA-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 09/18/2008
PB-GA-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order 10/01/2008 (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 11/03/2008 (2008 WL 8874314) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss 12/16/2009 (2009 WL 5062451) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Order Granting Second Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction 02/18/2010 (2010 WL 623475) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 10/27/2011
PB-GA-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction Filed by Zachary Royal 06/19/2012 (2012 WL 2326115) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order denying Motion to Certify Class 08/02/2012 (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion Granting in Part, Denying in Part Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 05/21/2013 (2013 WL 2252917) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Offer of Judgment Pursuant to F.C.R.P. 68 08/05/2013
PB-GA-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/27/2013 (2011 WL 4500009) (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Thrash, Thomas W. Jr. (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0007-0003 | PB-GA-0007-0004 | PB-GA-0007-0005 | PB-GA-0007-0006 | PB-GA-0007-0007 | PB-GA-0007-0008 | PB-GA-0007-0010 | PB-GA-0007-0011 | PB-GA-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Norris, Joshua A. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0001 | PB-GA-0007-0002 | PB-GA-0007-9000
Rafferty, Paua Marie (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0001 | PB-GA-0007-0002 | PB-GA-0007-9000
Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Collins, Jennifer Saffold (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-9000
Dunn, Dennis R. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0009
Katz, Adam Scott (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-9000
Naunas, Jason S. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0009
Nelson, Shalen S. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0009
Olens, Samuel (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0009
Townes, Michelle (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-0009 | PB-GA-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Stokes, Sharon Douglas (Georgia)
PB-GA-0007-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -