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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Thomas v. Kent PB-CA-0048
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-08013-FMO-AGR ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection DOJ Civil Rights Division Statements of Interest
Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On October 16, 2014, the plaintiffs, three individuals with significant physical disabilities requiring substantial medical care, filed this lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services (“DHCS”) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The ... read more >
On October 16, 2014, the plaintiffs, three individuals with significant physical disabilities requiring substantial medical care, filed this lawsuit against the California Department of Health Care Services (“DHCS”) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the state had violated Section II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require public entities to provide services to persons with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs and to prevent unnecessary institutionalization. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, including a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing DHCS from reducing at-home medical care and support for the plaintiffs, and a permanent injunction preventing unnecessary institutionalization in the future. They also sought attorney's fees. The plaintiffs were represented by Disability Rights California.

Specifically, the plaintiffs, who were once institutionalized because of their disabilities, were living in their own homes where they received Medicaid-funded nursing and attendant care through the California Medi-Cal Home and Community Based Nursing Facility/Acute Hospital Waiver Program (“Waiver Program”). They alleged that they were at risk of institutionalization because DHCS maintained unnecessarily low cost limits for these services.

On January 29, 2015, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint. The amended complaint added an organizational plaintiff, In Spirit, a non-profit organization that provided financial assistance to persons with disabilities to receive medical care in their home.

In April 2015, the parties began discovery.

On July 7, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. This complaint added a new named plaintiff, dismissed one of the existing named plaintiffs, elaborated on the factual information, and added a third claim for violations of California state law.

On September 23, 2015, In Spirit was voluntarily dismissed as a party in the lawsuit.

On January 26, 2016, the parties held mediation but were unable to reach an agreement. Throughout the mediation, the parties continued to engage in discovery disputes.

On March 8, 2016, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. On March 10, 2016, the plaintiffs moved for summary judgement. District Judge Fernando Olguin denied both motions on April 27, 2016. He further set out deadlines for continued discovery.

On March 29, 2016, The United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") filed a Statement of Interest (SOI) to clarify the defendant’s obligations under the ADA. The DOJ explained that the ADA prohibits unjustified institutionalization and requires individuals with disabilities receive support and services in the most integrated setting as mandated in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999). The DOJ also clarified that the defendants could not administer the Medicaid waiver without accounting for individual needs and that the integration mandate protects individuals at serious risk of institutionalization. The DOJ filed subsequent SOIs on August 4, 2016 and September 16, 2016, which further clarified the states’ ADA obligations in light of DHCS’s arguments against the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement.

On July 18, 2016, the plaintiffs again moved for summary judgement, which Judge Olguin denied on August 4, 2016 due to continued factual disputes. Judge Olguin also noted being “deeply troubled” by the defendants’ repeated failure to comply in good faith with discovery requests and threatened to impose sanctions.

On September 7, 2016, the plaintiffs again filed a motion for summary judgement. On June 5, 2017, the Court denied that motion, finding that genuine issues of material fact remained regarding whether or not the California waiver program’s cost limits created a serious risk of institutionalization and whether California Health Services had an existing deinstitutionalization scheme in place that was effective.

On June 26, 2017, Judge Olguin issued a scheduling order, establishing deadlines for additional discovery, the plaintiff’s third amended complaint, and a status conference in December 2017.

On August 3, 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jay C. Ghandi ordered the parties to appear at a settlement conference on October 31, 2017.

The case is ongoing.

Sean Mulloy - 10/16/2017


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 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) State of California Department of Health Care Services
Plaintiff Description Individuals with significant physical disabilities who received Medicaid-funded care and medical treatment at home for serious health conditions.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  William G. v. Pataki
http://www.bazelon.org/william-g-v-pataki/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez
http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Williams v. Quinn
http://www.bazelon.org/williams-v-quinn/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. Commonwealth of Virginia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-virginia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. North Carolina
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-north-carolina/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  U.S. v. Georgia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-georgia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  O'Toole v. Cuomo [Formerly DAI v. Cuomo]
http://www.bazelon.org/otoole-v-cuomo/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Amanda D. v. Hassan
http://www.bazelon.org/amanda-d-v-hassan/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:14-cv-8013 (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0048-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 4]
PB-CA-0048-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/23/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint For Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 26]
PB-CA-0048-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 70]
PB-CA-0048-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of The United States of America [ECF# 112]
PB-CA-0048-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/29/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Supplemental Statement of Interest of the United States of America [ECF# 171]
PB-CA-0048-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/04/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Supplemental Statement of Interest of The United States of America [ECF# 198]
PB-CA-0048-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 09/16/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion For Summary Judgment [ECF# 322] (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0048-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Olguin, Fernando Manzano (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0048-0007 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Rosenberg, Alicia G. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PB-CA-0048-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Coelho, Monisha Ann (California)
PB-CA-0048-0005 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Decker, Eileen (California)
PB-CA-0048-0001 | PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006
Gershon, Elissa Staci (California)
PB-CA-0048-0003 | PB-CA-0048-0003 | PB-CA-0048-0004 | PB-CA-0048-0005 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Gettleman, Deborah D. (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0001 | PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006
Hadreas, Anne (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Havens, Betsy Ellen (California)
PB-CA-0048-0005 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0001 | PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006
Himmelrich, Sue L. (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Holle, Marilyn (California)
PB-CA-0048-0005 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Hull, Joanna (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006 | PB-CA-0048-9000
Iriarte, Maria F. (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Monteleone, Robyn-Marie L (California)
PB-CA-0048-0001
Newman, Robert D. Jr. (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0001 | PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006
Schouten, Dorothy A. (California)
PB-CA-0048-0006
Tawatao, Rau Mona (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0001 | PB-CA-0048-0002 | PB-CA-0048-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Guitar, Michael Thomas (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Kim, Jennifer M. (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Wang, Kenneth Kai-Chun (California)
PB-CA-0048-9000
Other Lawyers Schutzer, Mathew S. (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0048-0006 | PB-CA-0048-9000

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