In 1979, plaintiffs brought a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging treatment of mentally retarded residents at the Woodhaven Center, an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded operated by Temple University under contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants, who included the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health and Retardation, failed to release plaintiffs into less restrictive community living arrangements ("CLAs"), even though plaintiffs had been recommended for such treatment programs.
Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification. Defendants opposed class certification and moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiffs' claims were covered by another pending civil action.
On June 11, 1984, the District Court (Judge Norma L. Shapiro) denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The Court held that plaintiffs were already members of a plaintiff class in the civil action Halderman, et al. v. Pennhurst State School, et al., Case No. 74-1345 [ID-PA-2 of this collection] and were therefore precluded by the doctrine of res judicata from maintaining the instant suit. Daniel B. v. O'Bannon, 588 F.Supp. 1095 (E.D.Pa. 1984). Plaintiffs appealed.
Plaintiffs subsequently requested that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals remand the case for consideration of a Rule 60(b) motion, based on newly discovered evidence. Plaintiffs asserted that they discovered that the Pennhurst settlement agreement, executed on July 12, 1984, provided no relief to the named Nelson plaintiffs or putative class members. The Third Circuit remanded the case on August 27, 1984.
Following remand, on July 3, 1985, the District Court (Judge Norma L. Shapiro) certified a liability class, consisting of "All mentally retarded individuals currently residing at Woodhaven Center whose domicile is or was Philadelphia County who have been recommended by treatment teams at Woodhaven Center for discharge to less restrictive community living arrangements." Settlement talks continued until the parties reached a resolution of the case.
On March 12, 1986, the District Court (Judge Shapiro) approved the Settlement Agreement and entered final judgment. Daniel B. v. O'Bannon, 633 F.Supp. 919 (E.D.Pa. 1986). The Agreement required the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare ("DPW") to provide sufficient funding to the City of Philadelphia for the class members to be placed in less restrictive community living arrangements ("CLAs"). The placement into CLAs was to be implemented gradually with at least 23 members placed each year for a period of five years. The Settlement Agreement was set to terminate on June 30, 1991.
More than four years after the Settlement Agreement was approved, the plaintiff class moved for an order to enforce compliance. Plaintiffs alleged that less than 40 class members had been placed in CLAs. After a three-day evidentiary hearing, the District Court reinstated the litigation to extend its jurisdiction beyond the June 30, 1991 termination of the Settlement Agreement. The Court then granted plaintiffs' motion to compel compliance with the Settlement Agreement, and issued a preliminary injunction, compelling the DPW to provide sufficient funds to allow for the continued placement of class members into CLAs. Daniel B. v. O'Bannon, 1991 WL 58494 (E.D.Pa. April 11, 1991).
According to the limited PACER docket, the case was closed on July 8, 1992. We have no further information on this matter.Dan Dalton - 03/21/2007