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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Daniel B. v. O'Bannon ID-PA-0001
Docket / Court 2:79-cv-04088-NS ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
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 ... read more >
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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
General
Reassessment and care planning
Wait lists
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Philadelphia County Mental Retardation Program
Woodhaven Center
Plaintiff Description 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.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1986 - 1991
Case Closing Year 1992
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-PA-0002 : Halderman v. Pennhurst (E.D. Pa.)
Docket(s)
79-04088 (E.D. Pa.) 07/08/1992
ID-PA-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 06/11/1984 (588 F.Supp. 1095) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0001-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 03/12/1986 (633 F.Supp. 919) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 04/11/1991 (1991 WL 58494 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4925) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Shapiro, Norma Levy (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0002 | ID-PA-0001-0003 | ID-PA-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Erba, Andrew F. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0002
George, Paul M. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0002 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Tiryak, Edmund A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bevilacqua, Gabriel L. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001
Cohen, Pauline (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Davidson, Joseph M. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Davis, Alan J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0002 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Gold, Richard J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0002 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Harvey, Michael L. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0002 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Lamdda, Armando (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0002
Myers, Marc H. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Yanoff, Shelly (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0001-0001 | ID-PA-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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