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Case Name Taylor v. Zucker PB-NY-0027
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-05317 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On July 15, 2014, this class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The plaintiffs are elderly or disabled Medicaid recipients in New York ... read more >
On July 15, 2014, this class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The plaintiffs are elderly or disabled Medicaid recipients in New York who receive home-care services through Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), which are privately-owned and operated companies contracted by the state. They sought injunctive and declaratory relief under the Medicaid Act, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for violation of their due process rights under the 14th Amendment.

The plaintiffs allege that these MCOs terminated or reduced their home-care services without proper notice; that the services were terminated or reduced without any change in their condition or circumstances that would warrant such an alteration; and that they were denied aid-continuing benefits pending internal appeals.

The three named plaintiffs tell a similar story: They each received a letter from their MCO summarily reducing their amount of home care. The letters claimed to be new authorizations of care, rather than reductions in current services. In one case, the letter reduced the plaintiff's care from 10 hours per day to 5. Another's was tapered over a period of four months from 24 hours/day to a total termination of care. None of the notices identified any changes in the plaintiffs' conditions to warrant such a reduction. The plaintiffs were also denied continued care while their requests for fair hearings were pending.

In filing their complaint, Plaintiffs claimed that this action was related to another case currently pending in the Southern District of New York,
Strouchler v. Shah. Thus, this case was originally assigned to the judge of the Strouchler case (Judge Shira A. Scheindlin). But on August 4, 2014, the case was declined as not related. It was then assigned to Judge Colleen McMahon.

The defendants filed an answer on November 14, 2014. The plaintiffs filed a motion to to amend the complaint to add another named plaintiff on March 16, 2015, and moved to certify class that day, with the proposed class defined as "All current and future Medicaid recipients in New York State who receive home care services through Medicaid Managed Care Organizations and who have suffered or will suffer threatened or actual denials, reductions, or terminations of their home care services without timely and adequate notice, and/or without any change in their condition or circumstances which would justify a reduction or termination, and/or without aid-continuing benefits to which they are entitled."

In April 2015, the Department of Health began to require the use of standardized forms to give recipients notice about the appeals process. The plaintiffs claimed that the adoption of the forms was "not a panacea of for all of the systemic harms suffered by Plaintiffs."

On July 27, 2015, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint to add another named plaintiff, but denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Though the court acknowledged that the case was paradigmatic of a type of case that was routinely certified as a class action prior to Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., it found it was not appropriate to certify it as a class action now. Class certification was denied because the claims of the named plaintiffs did not meet the "commonality" and "typicality" requirements after Wal-Mart. While the court acknowledged that the April 2015 implementation of model notices might provide some commonality, the named plaintiffs had not received the new standardized notices, and therefore the court found that their claims were not typical of the claims of individuals who were beginning to receive the new standardized form notice.

The parties proceeded with discovery, until on October 13, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of all claims against the defendants, with all parties to bear their own costs and attorney's fees. Nothing in the docket indicates the reason for the dismissal—we don't know if the case was settled out of court or if the plaintiffs simply gave up. The case was dismissed without prejudice on October 14, 2015.

Andrew Junker - 09/24/2014
Sarah McDonald - 08/11/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Disability
disability, unspecified
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Payment for care
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) New York
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Plaintiff Description Three New York City recipients of Medicaid home care services.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-05317-CM (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0027-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/14/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint
PB-NY-0027-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/15/2014
Source: Bloomberg Law
Memorandum Decision and Order on Motion for Leave to File Amended Class Action Complaint and Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 52] (2015 WL 4560739) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0027-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/27/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McMahon, Colleen (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0027-0002 | PB-NY-0027-9000
Scheindlin, Shira A. (E.D.N.Y., S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0027-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Schulman, Yisroel (New York)
PB-NY-0027-0001
Stevens, Jane Greengold (New York)
PB-NY-0027-0001 | PB-NY-0027-9000
Tavi, Sabrina (New York)
PB-NY-0027-9000
Taylor, Benjamin (New York)
PB-NY-0027-0001 | PB-NY-0027-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Simon, Jennifer C. (New York)
PB-NY-0027-9000

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