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Case Name Ruth L. v. White ID-PA-0005
Docket / Court 90-5562 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Attorney Organization Steve Gold
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On August 27, 1990, several mentally retarded individuals, represented by attorneys for the Disabilities Law Project, filed a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare [DPW] pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ... read more >
On August 27, 1990, several mentally retarded individuals, represented by attorneys for the Disabilities Law Project, filed a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare [DPW] pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging their continued confinement in state institutions. Plaintiffs sought to enjoin DPW from denying persons with mental retardation appropriate treatment and placement in community-based programs. Plaintiffs' complaint asserted violations of their substantive and procedural due process rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment; Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§1396a et. seq.; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.

Plaintiffs moved for class certification on April 8, 1991. The District Court (Judge Charles R. Weiner) denied the motion, with leave to renew it after the completion of discovery. Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction was similarly denied.

Settlement negotiations followed and the parties ultimately resolved the case. The Court approved the parties' Settlement Agreement on July 9, 1992. The Agreement stipulated to the certification of a class of persons "with a primary or exclusive diagnosis of mental retardation who are institutionalized in state hospitals for persons with mental illness contrary to professional judgment. " The Agreement called for the PDW to place class members into appropriate community-based programs. The case was placed on the Court's civil suspense list pending compliance with the Agreement. Plaintiffs' claim for attorneys' fees was resolved under a separate agreement.

On April 11, 1996, the District Court entered a final stipulation and order dismissing the case without prejudice.

We have no further information on this matter.

Dan Dalton - 04/06/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
General
Classification / placement
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Social Security (Title XX), 42 U.S.C. § 1397 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Department of Public Welfare
Norristown State Hospital
Plaintiff Description All persons with a primary or exclusive diagnosis of mental retardation who are institutionalized in state hospitals for persons with mental illness contrary to professional judgment.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Steve Gold
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 1996
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
90-5562 (E.D. Pa.) 04/11/1996
ID-PA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/04/1990
ID-PA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Correspondence 06/29/1992
ID-PA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Settlement Agreement & Stipulation 07/09/1992
ID-PA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Supplemental Settlement Stipulation 06/27/1994
ID-PA-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Final Stipulation 04/11/1996
ID-PA-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges Weiner, Charles R. (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0005-0003 | ID-PA-0005-0004 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gold, Stephen F. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0001 | ID-PA-0005-0003 | ID-PA-0005-0004 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0002 | ID-PA-0005-0003 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Shane, Ilene W. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0001 | ID-PA-0005-0003 | ID-PA-0005-0004 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fredricks, Laura (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0004 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Kramer, Barry N. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0002 | ID-PA-0005-0003 | ID-PA-0005-0004 | ID-PA-0005-0005 | ID-PA-0005-9000
Ulan, Howard (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0005-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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