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Case Name Valdivia v. California Department of Health Services NH-CA-0002
Docket / Court S-90-1226-EJG ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Nursing Home Conditions
Case Summary
On Oct. 1, 1990, two residents of California nursing homes filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California under the Medicaid Act against the California Department of Health Services. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, ... read more >
On Oct. 1, 1990, two residents of California nursing homes filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California under the Medicaid Act against the California Department of Health Services. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the state had failed to comply with the recently enacted federal nursing home reform law, 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 1395i-3(a)-(h) and 1396r(a)-(h). The plaintiffs also requested a preliminary injunction.

Specifically, the new law required all nursing homes to care for their residents "so as to promote maintenance or enhancement of each resident's quality of life." To this end, each facility was required to formulate a written plan of care for each resident, describing the medical, nursing, and pyschosocial needs of the resident, among other requirements. Under the law, each state is responsible for certifying the compliance of facilities with these requirements. The state claimed that its own statutory and regulatory scheme already complied with the reform law.

On Jan. 11, 1991, the court (Judge Garcia) granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction and ordered the state to comply with the new federal requirements. On Feb. 25, 1991, he ordered that the injunction would remain in effect until final resolution on the merits of the case. The court also certified a class consisting of "all persons in California who are or will be residents in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing facilities."

On Aug. 11, 1992, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in part and entered a permanent injunction against the state in the following areas: comprehensive resident assessments (the state has to ensure that the nursing home provide individualized care plans per the reform law); residents' rights (the state has to ensure that the nursing homes promote residents' rights in admissions policies); survey and certification requirements; and transfer and discharge appeals.

The court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the question of the defendants' failure to timely comply with the nurse aid training and competency program, but granted summary judgment to the defendants on the question of their current compliance with the law. The court ruled similarly on the question of the nurse aid registry required by the reform law.

At the same time, the parties agreed to resolve all further issues through a settlement agreement. The agreement provided that the state would comply with all aspects of the reform law. The state also agreed to implement an enforcement program "including mechanisms and strategies to effectively apply appropriate remedies when federal requirements of participation are not met." The state also committed to new, comprehensive educational programs for facility staff, residents, and residents' representatives regarding resident assessments and car plans.

On April 13, 1993, the Court held that the stipulation was fair to the members of the class and approved the settlement. On March 16, 1999, the District Court (Judge Garcia granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint in intervention for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and denied the intervenor's motion to enforce the settlement agreement. The court then directed the clerk of Court to close this file.

Andrew Junker - 12/09/2014

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Benefit Source
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Preliminary relief granted
Hospital/Health Department
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Reassessment and care planning
Restraints : chemical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Nursing Care Reform Act of 1987/ Omnibus Reconciliation Act
Social Security (Title XX), 42 U.S.C. § 1397 et seq.
Defendant(s) California
Plaintiff Description Residents of California nursing homes
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 1990
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
2:90-cv-1226 (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2001
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Preliminary Injunction Order (1991 WL 22812) (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/11/1991
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum of Decision (1991 WL 80896) (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/25/1991
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (1992 WL 226316) (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/24/1992
Source: Westlaw
Order After Hearing and Order of Permanent Injunction (1992 WL 554299) (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/11/1992
Source: Westlaw
Order after Hearing [ECF# 440] (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/1999
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Garcia, Edward J. (E.D. Cal.)
NH-CA-0002-0001 | NH-CA-0002-0002 | NH-CA-0002-0003 | NH-CA-0002-0004 | NH-CA-0002-0005 | NH-CA-0002-9000
Nowinski, Peter A. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alexander, George (California)
Calame, Donna Schmitt (California)
Dudovitz, Neal S (District of Columbia)
Edelman, Toby (District of Columbia)
Finberg, Jeanne (California)
Girard, Lenore E (California)
Lammers, Kathleen A (California)
Miller, Kenneth P (California)
Mitchell, Eugenie (California)
Nemore, Patricia (District of Columbia)
Pearl, Richard M (California)
Shapiro, Robin Marc (California)
Weathered, Tom (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Hewing, Margaret S (District of Columbia)
Mansfield, Daryl Francis (California)
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
Yanger, Thomas Robert (California)
Other Lawyers Gerst, Robert J (California)
Reagan, Mark E. (California)
Waxman, J. Mark (California)

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