University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Nelson v. Snider ID-PA-0004
Docket / Court 94-CV-440 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On January 24, 1994, individual plaintiffs, the Pennsylvania Protection Advocacy, Inc. and Arc-Pennsylvania filed this class action civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging the care, conditions of confinement and habilitation of ... read more >
On January 24, 1994, individual plaintiffs, the Pennsylvania Protection Advocacy, Inc. and Arc-Pennsylvania filed this class action civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, challenging the care, conditions of confinement and habilitation of residents of Embreeville Center, a facility for the developmentally disabled in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs alleged violation of their rights under Title XIX of the Social Security Act; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Due Process Clause, Equal Protection Clause and the First Amendment via 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff class was represented by attorneys with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and the Disabilities Law Project Philadelphia. The suit was styled Nelson v. Martin, Civil Action No. 94-CV- 440. It followed a similar suit filed by the Department of Justice [DOJ] on April 21, 1993, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1997 et seq., styled U.S. v. Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 93-CV-2094. [ID-PA-7 of this collection].

On March 28, 1994, the District Court (Judge Clarence C. Newcomer) ordered that the Nelson case be consolidated with U.S. v. Pennsylvania. Case no. 94-CV- 440 was closed for statistical purposes.

The plaintiff class was certified by the District Court on April 26, 1994, with an amended order following on May 11, 1994. Following discovery and motion practice, the case was settled. The District Court approved the Settlement Agreement on November 30, 1994, which resulted in the downsizing and eventual closing of the Embreeville Center. A subsequent Stipulated Agreement was entered on March 20, 2000.

On January 5, 2005, the Stipulated Agreement was terminated and the case was dismissed agreement of the parties.

See U.S. v. Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 93-CV-2094. [ID-PA-7] for a more detailed account of the procedural history of the consolidated cases.

Dan Dalton - 03/17/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Integrated setting
Assault/abuse by staff
Communication skills
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Neglect by staff
Recreation / Exercise
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
ICF/MR & HCFA standards
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Social Security (Title XX), 42 U.S.C. § 1397 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 15001 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Embreeville Center
Plaintiff Description All persons who are residing or will reside at Embreeville Center, all persons who have been or will be transferred from Embreeville Center to other settings.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1994 - 2005
Filing Year 1994
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-PA-0007 : U.S. v. Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0002 : Halderman v. Pennhurst (E.D. Pa.)
94-CV-440 (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum (832 F.Supp. 122) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0004-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/31/1993
Source: Google Scholar
ID-PA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/1993
Memorandum (863 F.Supp. 217) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/13/1994
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum (1994 WL 502352 / 1994 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13005) (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0004-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/12/1994
Settlement Agreement
ID-PA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/30/1994
Judges Newcomer, Clarence Charles (E.D. Pa.)
ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chen, Pamela K. (District of Columbia)
ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-0006
Cohn, Debra Leanne Wrobel (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006
Gran, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0001 | ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Guzman, Philip A. (District of Columbia)
Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0001 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Murphy, Mark J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0001 | ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)
ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Ransom, Barbara E. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0001 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
Rotko, Michael J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006
Shane, Ilene W. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Kramer, Barry N. (Pennsylvania)
Ulan, Howard (Pennsylvania)
York, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-0006 | ID-PA-0004-9000
Tiryak, Edmund A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0004-0003 | ID-PA-0004-0004 | ID-PA-0004-0005 | ID-PA-0004-0006 | ID-PA-0004-9000

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