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Case Name Gary W. v. Louisiana ID-LA-0003
Docket / Court 74 CV 2412 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Special Collection Court-ordered receiverships
Case Summary
On September 3, 1974, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging that agencies within the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration violated the constitutional and statutory rights of emotionally disturbed children and children ... read more >
On September 3, 1974, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging that agencies within the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration violated the constitutional and statutory rights of emotionally disturbed children and children with intellectual disabilities by placing them in various Texas institutions where they were subjected to poor living conditions and the denial of adequate treatment. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. The docket indicates that an attorney from the Children's' Defense Fund was also involved in the litigation at some point.

On July 26, 1976, following a trial, the district court (Judge Alvin B. Rubin) concluded that the children's rights had been violated and ordered that the violations be remedied on a child-specific basis. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 437 F.Supp. 1209 (E.D. La. 1976). In this Principle Order, Judge Rubin found that the children who were placed in Texas were not given the same treatment as those in Louisiana facilities and were denied privileges such as visits with family. The state was not required to return the children to Louisiana immediately; rather, it was required to assure proper treatment in Texas until new facilities in Louisiana could be constructed.

Judge Rubin ordered the Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources to pay attorneys' fees. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 441 F.Supp. 1121 (E.D. La. 1977). Defendants appealed claiming that the state constitution prohibited the payment of attorneys' fees from Department funds. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judge Irving Loeb Goldberg) affirmed. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 622 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1980).

After the case was assigned to Judge Robert Frederick Collins, the district court assigned a special master. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed that decision. Gary W. v. State of Louisiana, 601 F.2d 240 (5th Cir. 1979). The docket indicates that Dr. Brenda Lyles served as Special Master. In the following years, various class members were dismissed as they were placed in the least restrictive settings. All plaintiffs had been placed in residential settings by 1989.

In a 1993 opinion, the district court (Judge A.J. McNamara) granted the defendants' motion for relief from judgment. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 1993 WL 17686 (E.D. La. Jan. 19, 1993). Judge McNamara held that previous micromanagement over the treatment of the class members had resulted in them receiving treatment far greater than that available to non-class members. In addition, all of the class-members were no longer minor children. The court determined that the Principle Order had been satisfied and there was no justification for continuing the litigation. On January 12, 1994, the court entered a judgment for the Plaintiffs in the amount of $180,400 for attorneys' fees and costs.

We have no further information on this matter.

Angela Heverling - 05/07/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Content of Injunction
Least restrictive environment
Race discrimination
Classification / placement
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Wait lists
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Day Developmental Training
Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration
Plaintiff Description All mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, and other children from Louisiana who have been placed in Texas institutions either by direct action of the State of Louisiana or with financial support from the state.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1976 - 1993
Filing Year 1974
Case Closing Year 1994
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Problems in Implementing a Court Order Mandating Deinstitutionalization and a Right to Treatment
Date: 1979
By: William E. Ritterberg
Citation: 1 Prison L. Monitor 259 (1979)
[ Detail ]

74-CV-2412 (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/1992
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
74-CV-2412 (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/1994
General Documents
Reported Opinion (437 F.Supp. 1209) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/26/1976
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (429 F.Supp. 711) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/03/1977
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (441 F.Supp. 1121) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/31/1977
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (601 F.2d 240)
ID-LA-0003-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/24/1979
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (622 F.2d 804)
ID-LA-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/31/1980
Source: Google Scholar
Order (1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4862) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0014.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/10/1987
Source: LexisNexis
Appellate Opinion (861 F.2d 1366)
ID-LA-0003-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/21/1988
Source: Google Scholar
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (1990 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1746) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0015.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/20/1990
Source: LexisNexis
Order for Supplemental Relief (1990 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1728) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0016.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/20/1990
Source: LexisNexis
Minute Entry (1991 WL 49674 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4201) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/01/1991
Opinion (954 F.2d 722)
ID-LA-0003-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/06/1992
Order and Reasons (1993 WL 17686 / 1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 656) (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/19/1993
Defendants' Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees
ID-LA-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/11/1994
Judgment (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/1994
Judges Collins, Robert Frederick (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0012 | ID-LA-0003-0014 | ID-LA-0003-0015 | ID-LA-0003-0016
Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Fifth Circuit)
Hill, James Clinkscales (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, N.D. Ga.)
King, Carolyn Dineen (Fifth Circuit)
McNamara, A. J. (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0003 | ID-LA-0003-0004 | ID-LA-0003-0011 | ID-LA-0003-9000 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Politz, Henry Anthony (Fifth Circuit)
Rubin, Alvin Benjamin (Fifth Circuit, E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-0007
Smith, Jerry Edwin (Fifth Circuit)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Attwood, Cynthia L. (District of Columbia)
Berzon, Stephen P. (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0007
Berzon, Stephen P. (California)
Daniel, Susan G. (District of Columbia)
Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)
Edelman, Marian Wright (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0003-0008 | ID-LA-0003-0009
Holm, Geneviene (District of Columbia)
Kellogg, R. James (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-9001 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Mayer, Steven L. (Louisiana)
Rittenberg, William E. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-0007 | ID-LA-0003-0008 | ID-LA-0003-0009 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Sheran, Thomas R. (District of Columbia)
Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)
Smith, O. Whitman (Vermont)
Thrasher, Louis M. (District of Columbia)
Utter, David J. (Louisiana)
Wilks, Dale C. (Louisiana)
Yohalem, Daniel (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0007 | ID-LA-0003-0008 | ID-LA-0003-0009
Defendant's Lawyers Blackmon, Carmack M. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0007 | ID-LA-0003-0008 | ID-LA-0003-0009
Castille, Charles F. (Louisiana)
Darnell, Chester E. (Texas)
DeHay, J. Carlisle Jr. (Texas)
Dore, James P. (Louisiana)
Funderburk, Robert Jr. (Louisiana)
Gilmore, Jerry C. (Texas)
ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Gooch, Joel E. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0010 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Grodner, R. Marshall (Louisiana)
Gurley, Ronald K. (Louisiana)
Halligan, Thomas S. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0008 | ID-LA-0003-0009
Jackson, Randall C. (Texas)
Jones, Louis M. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-0008
Kendall, Clarence F. II (Texas)
Long, Shelby K. (Texas)
O'Conner, Marjorie G. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0010 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Rienstra, John (Texas)
Screen, James P. (Louisiana)
Thornton, James J. Jr. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0005 | ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-9001
Torry, Gerard N. (Louisiana)
Walker, Harper (Texas)
Wegmann, Cynthia Anne (Louisiana)
Weigel, John J. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0003-0006 | ID-LA-0003-9001
West, Dan E (Louisiana)
Wogan, John D. (Louisiana)
Other Lawyers Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
Ebbs, Nancy (District of Columbia)
Gallinghouse, S. Mark (Louisiana)

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