University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. City of New York (Kings County Hospital) MH-NY-0009
Docket / Court CV10-0060 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
According to the press release issued by the Justice Department regarding this case, the facts were as follows: On December 7, 2007, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation into the care and treatment of mental health patients at Kings County Hospital ... read more >
According to the press release issued by the Justice Department regarding this case, the facts were as follows: On December 7, 2007, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation into the care and treatment of mental health patients at Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC)'s Behavioral Health Service (BHS). "The investigation uncovered systemic deficiencies that violated the constitutional and civil rights of patients with psychiatric disabilities. These violations included failure to protect patients from harm, failure to treat the psychiatric disabilities of patients, the use of drugs to sedate rather than treat patients, failure to provide adequate and individualized discharge planning and follow-up services, falsification of patient medical records, and failure to respond promptly to medical emergencies." These violations and others contributed to the death of at least one patient during the course of the investigation. The DOJ notified the defendants of their findings in a letter on January 30, 2009.

The parties spent a year negotiating an agreement, with the understanding that that DOJ would file a lawsuit. The suit and the settlement were then filed together. The purpose of this was to memorialize the suit and allow the court to enforce the settlement. On January 7, 2010, the U.S. filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiff sued the City of New York, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act and the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act. The plaintiff sought injunctive and declaratory relief to improve conditions at KCHC and remedy the conduct alleged in the findings letter. The court assigned District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto to the case.

On January 8, 2010, the court issued a consent judgment. The judgment stated that in entering into the agreement, the defendants did not admit any violation of federal law, and that the agreement was not to be used as evidence of their liability in other legal proceedings.

The agreement set out minimum remedial measures for the defendants to implement, including provisions for protection from harm, mental health care, behavioral management, medical and nursing care, quality assurance, fire and life safety, discharge and aftercare planning, KCHC hospital policies, and staff training and policy manuals and accountability. The agreement stated that the defendants would implement the necessary reforms immediately. It stipulated that the defendants appoint a Settlement Agreement Coordinator at KCHC to oversee compliance with the agreement, who would provide the DOJ with reports regarding compliance. Within 45 days of the consent judgment, the defendants would provide a plan for implementation. The agreement set out a termination date five years out, so long as the United States certified that the defendants had complied with all the provisions of the agreement for a year prior to termination.

On February 23, 2010, the defendants alerted the Court that they had created a plan. The defendants filed an amended plan on December 16, 2010. The plaintiff sent expert compliance teams to evaluate KCHC's progress. These reports were filed twice a year for the first three years. The letter of December 23, 2013 noted some areas for improvement in most of the areas covered in the agreement. After the December 23 visit, the court ordered the defendant to provide a plan to comply with correcting the noted deficiencies. A similar letter was sent in July of 2014, and the court sent another order to the defendant requesting a plan to comply. The biannual visits resumed from 2014 to 2016. On January 10, 2017, the expert compliance team filed a report stating that the defendant had maintained compliance for one year, and requested that the case be closed. Judge Matsumoto closed the case on January 17, 2017.

Rachel Carpman - 09/28/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Counseling
Discharge & termination plans
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Individualized planning
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Neglect by staff
Reassessment and care planning
Record-keeping
Sanitation / living conditions
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Self-injurious behaviors
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) The City of New York
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
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 2010 - 2017
Filing Year 2010
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:10−cv−00060−KAM−RML (E.D.N.Y.)
MH-NY-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Re: Investigation of Kings County Hospital Center
MH-NY-0009-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 06/18/2008
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Re: Investigation of Kings County Hospital Center
MH-NY-0009-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/22/2008
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Re: DOJ Investigation of Kings County Hospital Center
MH-NY-0009-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 11/07/2008
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Re: CRIPA Investigation of Kings County Hospital Center
MH-NY-0009-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 01/15/2009
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Complaint
MH-NY-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Judgment
MH-NY-0009-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Re: United States of America v. City of New York (Kings County Hospital Center) [ECF# 14]
MH-NY-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/23/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Re: United States of America v. City of New York (Kings County Hospital Center) [ECF# 22]
MH-NY-0009-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/10/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Matsumoto, Kiyo A. (E.D.N.Y.)
MH-NY-0009-0006 | MH-NY-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Campbell, Benton J (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0001 | MH-NY-0009-0002 | MH-NY-0009-0003 | MH-NY-0009-0004 | MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Capers, Robert L. (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0008
Deutsch, David (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0001 | MH-NY-0009-0002 | MH-NY-0009-0003 | MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0007
Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0001 | MH-NY-0009-0002 | MH-NY-0009-0003 | MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006 | MH-NY-0009-0007 | MH-NY-0009-0008 | MH-NY-0009-9000
Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Haroules, Beth (New York)
MH-NY-0009-9000
Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005
King, Loretta (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0004
Lynch, Loretta (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0007
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Trainor, Cathleen (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Welp, Laura M. (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0009-0005 | MH-NY-0009-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Calhoun, Martha Anne (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0006
Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
MH-NY-0009-0006
Toews, Mark Galen (New York)
MH-NY-0009-9000

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