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Case Name U.S. v. State of Tennessee NH-TN-0004
Docket / Court 1:09-CV-01012 ( W.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Nursing Home Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
After conducting an investigation into the conditions at state-run Tennessee State Homes for Veterans (TSHVs), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit against the State of Tennessee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on January 16, 2009. TSHVs served as ... read more >
After conducting an investigation into the conditions at state-run Tennessee State Homes for Veterans (TSHVs), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit against the State of Tennessee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on January 16, 2009. TSHVs served as care facilities for veterans in need of intermediate or long-term rehabilitation, medical, or nursing care. During the underlying investigation, which began in February 2007 and occurred with the full cooperation of the State, the DOJ conducted tours of TSHVs and consulted with experts in the fields of geriatric care and nursing home administration. Plaintiff found that a number of conditions in the facilities violated residents' federal rights. Accordingly, Plaintiff made a number of factual allegations about the inadequacy of the care provided at TSHVs, including that the State engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to provide adequate nutrition, psychiatric care, end-of-life care and pain management, and that the State did not maintain a safe environment in the TSHVs. Plaintiff brought claims under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Social Security Act. Acting under the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act (42 U.S. § 1997), plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

After the DOJ made a report of its findings to the State, the parties agreed to settle pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement. Accordingly, after negotiations, the parties jointly filed a Stipulated Settlement Agreement on the same day plaintiff filed its Complaint. The parties indicated that since the DOJ made a report of its findings to the State, the State had already made significant efforts to improve the areas of concern.

The terms of the Settlement Agreement provided that defendants would conduct assessments and create and implement protocols to ensure the following: 1) proper nutrition and hydration of TSVH residents; 2) safe feeding plans for those at risk of aspiration; 3) the provision of adequate and appropriate psychiatric and psychotropic care; 4) the provision of adequate end-of-life care and pain management; and 5) adequate fall prevention measures. The Settlement Agreement was to remain in effect for eighteen months, or until the State had achieved and maintained compliance for at least six months.

Simultaneously, the parties moved for conditional dismissal. Judge Daniel Breen granted their motion to dismiss, with the Court reserving jurisdiction only for enforcement of the Agreement.

The case closed in 2010 upon termination of the 18-month-long Agreement.

Lauren Latterell Powell - 01/09/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Reassessment and care planning
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
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) State of Tennessee
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted 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
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:09-cv-1012 (W.D. Tenn.)
NH-TN-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/20/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NH-TN-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/16/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States and the State of Tennessee Regarding the Tennessee State Veteran's Homes
NH-TN-0004-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 01/20/2009
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order Granting Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [ECF# 3] (W.D. Tenn.)
NH-TN-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/20/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breen, J. Daniel (W.D. Tenn.)
NH-TN-0004-0002 | NH-TN-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-0003
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-0003
Deerinwater, Verlin Hughes (District of Columbia)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-0003
Grinalds, Richard Leigh (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-9000
Halmon, Harriett M. (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-9000
Laurenzi, Lawrence J. (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-0001
Mukasey, Michael B. (New York)
NH-TN-0004-0001
Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-0003
Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)
NH-TN-0004-0001 | NH-TN-0004-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Cooper, Robert E. Jr. (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-0003
Hayden-Wood, Pamela A. (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-0003
Jasper, Warren (Tennessee)
NH-TN-0004-0003

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