On September 6, 1991, Mary Hunt, a resident of the Great Oaks Center for developmentally disabled persons in Silver Springs, Maryland, filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against the State of Maryland, the administrator of ...
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On September 6, 1991, Mary Hunt, a resident of the Great Oaks Center for developmentally disabled persons in Silver Springs, Maryland, filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against the State of Maryland, the administrator of Great Oaks Center, and both the Secretary and Director of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The plaintiffs, including all persons then or who may in the future be confined at Great Oaks Center, were represented by counsel from the Maryland Disability Law Center, the Mental Health Law Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, in addition to private firms. They asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that they had been subjected to hazardous unconstitutional conditions while in state custody at Great Oaks Center.
Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that they had been subjected to injury, abuse, neglect, and unnecessary physical restraints, as well as having been denied medical care and rehabilitative training and services. Several plaintiffs complained of injuries sustained as a result of Great Oaks personnel's failure to properly monitor the patients. Several residents died from lack of supervision as the center lacked treatment and training programs to deal with residents' aggressive and self-abusive behavior.
After two years of motions by both parties to extend time for answers, discovery orders and oppositions to class certification, the case was reassigned from Judge Joseph C. Howard to Judge Peter J. Messitte on November 15, 1993. On July 18, 1994 the Court (Judge Messitte) advised counsel that a settlement hearing would take place on September 8, 1994. The case was then referred to Magistrate Judge James E. Kenkel. Correspondence from the plaintiff's counsel indicated that the plaintiff was willing to withdraw from the Motion for Class Certification in 1995, and the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Catherine C. Blake, who entered an order permitting the plaintiffs' experts to tour the institutions upon reasonable notice on June 12, 1995. The United States entered an amicus brief on May 17, 1996 in support of the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment and in opposition to the defendants' motion for summary judgment.
On March 25, 1999, after a stipulation of dismissal and approval signed by Judge Catherine C. Blake, the case was closed. A notice of appeal was filed on April 22, 1999 by the plaintiffs and on June 11, 2001, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for a wrt of certiorari.
We have no more information on this file.Stacey Jensen - 06/25/2006