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Case Name Iasimone v. Garrahy ID-RI-0001
Docket / Court 77-0727 ( D.R.I. )
State/Territory Rhode Island
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On December 9, 1977, a group of residents at the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd School, a state facility for intellectually disabled and other handicapped individuals, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs ... read more >
On December 9, 1977, a group of residents at the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd School, a state facility for intellectually disabled and other handicapped individuals, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs brought this action against the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals (now the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals) and the Ladd School under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq. The plaintiffs claimed that the Ladd School, which was home to approximately 750 residents, failed to provide suitable living conditions to its residents in violation of the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the Ladd School failed to provide residents with an individualized living program, provide safe and humane facilities, maintain adequate staffing, develop new facilities for transfer of residents into the community, and provide necessary medical and dental care. The plaintiffs claimed that as a result, the vast majority of residents had actually regressed and deteriorated since being admitted to the Ladd School. The plaintiffs also alleged that as a result of the Ladd School's actions, they had been denied benefits under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq., which requires that funds appropriated pursuant to the Act be spent to provide care and treatment in non-institutional facilities when possible. The plaintiffs requested injunctive and declaratory relief from the defendants' constitutional violations.

On April 6, 1979, the parties reached agreement on an interim consent decree, which required the defendants to develop a comprehensive plan on service for all intellectually disabled citizens of Rhode Island, with special emphasis on residents of the Ladd School. The plan would include development of a policy for providing suitable facilities, rehabilitation services, and dental and medical care for these disabled individuals. The comprehensive plan was submitted to the plaintiffs on July 5, 1979.

After additional discovery and discussion, the parties reached a final stipulation, which U.S. District Judge Francis Boyle ordered effective on April 29, 1982. The Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals agreed to provide services for the development, education, rehabilitation, and care of the intellectually disabled members of the plaintiff class. In addition, the Department would provide annual individualized assessments in accordance with Title XIX regarding whether individual residents could be placed in the community to reduce the resident population at the Ladd School. The stipulation also required a court order for placement in the Ladd School and that the Ladd School would serve only as a last resort for disabled individuals. The Ladd School agreed to maintain their facilities in a manner eligible for certification as an Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded under Title XIX. The stipulation allowed for a monitor to ensure the defendants' compliance with the stipulation. The defendants also agreed to pay the plaintiffs $48,000 for attorneys' fees and costs.

On December 15, 1985, after receiving a report from the Ladd Center Monitoring Committee, Judge Boyle ordered that the defendants reduce the resident population at the Ladd School to not more than 240 residents by January 1987. The defendants also agreed to pay the plaintiffs an additional $6,721 in attorneys' fees and costs.

In 1986, Rhode Island Governor Edward DiPrete announced the closing of the Ladd School. On November 17, 1987, the defendants moved to vacate the previous stipulation and to dismiss this action. In 1994, the Ladd School was finally closed.

Margo Schlanger - 09/14/2006
John He - 11/19/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Goals and Timekeeping
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Commitment procedure
Conditions of confinement
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Discharge & termination plans
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Juveniles
Neglect by staff
Placement in detention facilities
Placement in mental health facilities
Reassessment and care planning
Record-keeping
Rehabilitation
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Dr. Joseph H. Ladd School
Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals
Plaintiff Description Residents of the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd School, a facility for intellectually disabled and other disabled individuals
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1982 - 1994
Case Closing Year 1994
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies History of The Ladd School
By: Jason Carpenter (The Ladd School Historical Society of Rhode Island)
Citation: Jason Carpenter, History of the Ladd School, http://www.theladdschool.com/history/history-of-the-ladd-school-ri.asp (last visited Nov. 19, 2015).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
77-0727 (D.R.I.) 02/02/1993
ID-RI-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
National Archive (NARA)
General Documents
Letter Re: Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center, Medicaid Provider #41-G018
ID-RI-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: NARA Regional Archives: Midwest Region
Complaint 12/09/1977
ID-RI-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: National Archive (NARA)
Interim Consent Decree 04/06/1979 (D.R.I.)
ID-RI-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: National Archive (NARA)
Order and Stipulation 04/29/1982 (D.R.I.)
ID-RI-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: National Archive (NARA)
Floor Amendment to 85--H 6395, As Amended: An Act to Provide Authority to Issue Bonds and Notes to Finances the 1985 Special Capital Development Program 01/01/1985
ID-RI-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: NARA Regional Archives: Midwest Region
Ladd Center Monitoring Committee - Meeting of Advocate Parties and State Parties 06/21/1985
ID-RI-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: NARA Regional Archives: Midwest Region
Order 12/01/1985 (D.R.I.)
ID-RI-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: NARA Regional Archives: Midwest Region
Judges Boyle, Francis Joseph (D.R.I.)
ID-RI-0001-0004 | ID-RI-0001-0005 | ID-RI-0001-0009 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carlin, Susan (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-9000
Clifton, William (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-9000
Hastings, Edwin (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-9000
Jameson, Paul (Massachusetts)
ID-RI-0001-0004 | ID-RI-0001-0005 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Lichatin, Stephen (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-9000
Lundwall, A. Arnold (Massachusetts)
ID-RI-0001-0003 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Mandell, Mark (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-9000
McConnell, John James Jr. (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-0005 | ID-RI-0001-0009 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Clarke, Deborah P. (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-0005 | ID-RI-0001-0009 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Sherman, Deming E. (Rhode Island)
ID-RI-0001-0005 | ID-RI-0001-0009 | ID-RI-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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