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Case Name Lovely H. v. Eggleston DR-NY-0009
Docket / Court 1:05-cv-06920 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On August 3, 2005, a group of people with disabilities filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York Human Resources Administration (NYHRA). The complaint was brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the ... read more >
On August 3, 2005, a group of people with disabilities filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York Human Resources Administration (NYHRA). The complaint was brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging violation of these Acts, as well as the Due Process Clauses of the U.S. and New York Constitutions and the New York State and City civil rights statutes and regulations.

Represented by the Legal Aid Society and private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that the NYHRA discriminated against them by involuntarily transferring their public benefits cases from their neighborhood welfare center to one of three "hub" centers that were exclusively designated for people with disabilities. The plaintiffs further claimed that these "hub" centers segregated people with disabilities and failed to provide reasonable accommodations to those whose disability made it difficult to travel. The plaintiffs asked the court for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, injunctive and declaratory relief, and attorney's fees.

On September 19, 2005, Judge Laura Taylor Swain approved a stipulation between the two parties where the defendant agreed to (1) transfer the named plaintiffs back to their local welfare centers, (2) stop the involuntary transfer of disabled persons, (3) provide the plaintiffs with notice of any voluntary transfers and (4) combine the hearing on the temporary restraining order with the hearing on the preliminary injunction. On November 11, 2005, the Court approved another stipulation where the defendant agreed to stop involuntary transfers and give notice of voluntary transfers.

On April 19, 2006, Judge Swain certified a plaintiff class defined as "recipients of public assistance, food stamps and/or Medicaid who have received or will receive a notice from the New York City Human Resources Administration involuntarily transferring their case to one of three 'hub centers' in Manhattan, the Bronx or Brooklyn in connection with the WeCARE program". In the same order, Judge Swain issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the NYHRA from reassigning class members' cases to the hubs and requiring the NYHRA to give the transferred plaintiffs the right to return their case to their local center. This preliminary injunction was suspended on May 16, 2006, after the NYHRA informed the court that it was closing the hub centers.

On December 11, 2006, the plaintiffs amended the complaint to request that the court order the defendant to reopen cases that were closed due to class members failing to attend mandatory meetings at the hub centers.

For the next five years, discovery and negotiations dominated the case. The case was reassigned in November of 2011 to Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

On March 27, 2012, the plaintiffs moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether any of the plaintiff class would be excluded from the collection of compensatory damages, which was denied by Judge Forrest as premature.

Following two more years of discovery, on November 25, 2014, the parties entered into a partial settlement. The agreement included compensation for foregone Cash Assistance benefits, reimbursement for Medicaid-covered expenses, and expungement of sanctions incurred while class members were assigned to hubs. Then, on March 11, 2015, Judge Forrest reviewed a proposed settlement of all claims, preliminarily approving it subject to a fairness hearing.

Under the proposed settlement, the defendant agreed to implement a broad set of policies and practices for class members. This included implementing "Disability Inquiry Methods", written scripts and screening protocols for the staff to identify client disabilities that may pose barriers to complying with program requirements and maintaining access to benefits, as well as any needed Reasonable Accommodation (as defined by the ADA). The agency agreed to have a non-exhaustive list of reasonable accommodations available to identified clients. The agency agreed to help facilitate successful federal disability benefit applications, including a referral to a vendor to assist with appealing a denial of benefits. The agreement also outlined procedures for mandatory pre- and post-reminders for appointments, and protocols for hospitalized and homeless class members. The agency also agreed to additional training, to accept feedback from a Disability Advisory Community Panel, to have court supervised monitoring, and to have more accessible materials available.

On June 22, 2015, Judge Forrest approved the class action settlement. After three years of negotiations and the parties agreeing to multiple extensions, on January 26, 2018, the City of New York agreed to pay attorney's fees in the amount of $6,500,000, with $5,434,936 going to The Legal Aid Society and the remainder going to private counsel. The case is now closed.

Brian Kempfer - 01/28/2014
Kevin Nomura - 04/06/2015
Kat Brausch - 04/07/2016
Alexander Walling - 07/20/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Benefit Source
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Reasonable Accommodation
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Integrated setting
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Classification / placement
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Government Services (specify)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Medical care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Brain injury
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Learning disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Multiple sclerosis
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
State law
Defendant(s) New York Human Resources Administration
Plaintiff Description A group of disabled persons who received public assistance, Medicaid and Foods Stamp benefits from the New York Human Resources Administration and where involuntarily transferred to hubs disabled person-only hubs from local hubs to receive their services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - 2017
Filing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing DR-NY-0008 : Toney-Dick v. Doar (S.D.N.Y.)
1:05-cv-6920 (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-NY-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/03/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation [ECF# 17] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/19/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation [ECF# 24] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/10/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Granting Preliminary Injunction] [ECF# 62] (235 F.R.D. 248) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/19/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Amending Preliminary Injunction] [ECF# 66] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion to Amend Complaint] [ECF# 87] (2006 WL 3333084) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/15/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 97]
DR-NY-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/11/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [Denying Motion for Summary Judgment] [ECF# 192] (2012 WL 4459463) (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/19/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Partial Settlement [ECF# 270] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/25/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement [ECF# 281] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/11/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment Approving Class Action Settlement [ECF# 294] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement of Attorneys' Fees, Costs, and Disbursements [ECF# 326] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Forrest, Katherine Bolan (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0008 | DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-0010 | DR-NY-0009-0011 | DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Swain, Laura Taylor (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-0004 | DR-NY-0009-0005 | DR-NY-0009-0006
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ashby, Kevin (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Banks, Steven (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Blum, Richard Elliot (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Edelman, Scott (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Goldiner, Judith (New York)
Holder, Adriene L. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Kelleher, Kathleen M. (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Murphy, Sean Miles (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Ratliff, Kyla (New York)
Rosenberg, Scott Alan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007
Stephens, Kenneth (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007 | DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Walker-Diallo, Carolyn (New York)
Welber, Susan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0001 | DR-NY-0009-0007 | DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Williams, Cheryl (New York)
Wu, Carolyn (New York)
Defendant's Lawyers Buhta, John Michael (New York)
Calhoun, Martha Anne (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0002 | DR-NY-0009-0003 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Giovanatti, Neil Anthony (New York)
Pines, Jonathan (New York)
DR-NY-0009-0009 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Roberts, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)
DR-NY-0009-0012 | DR-NY-0009-9000
Rosinus, David Alan Jr. (New York)
Silverberg, Janice Casey (New York)
Sweet, Emily (New York)
Other Lawyers Carter, Zachary W. (New York)

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