Monday, January 03, 2011

Olmstead enforcement action filed in Washington, D.C.

A class action lawsuit, Day v. Fenty, has been filed in federal district court against the District of Columbia on behalf of between 500 and 1000 residents of nursing homes in the city who want to live independently in the community but have not been able to secure the services they need to do so. The suit alleges that the District's failure to take adequate steps to transition these residents into the community violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, as interpreted in the landmark Olmstead decision of 1999.

Attorneys representing the class include AARP Foundation Litigation, the law firm Arent Fox, LLP, and University Legal Services (the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in the District) . Read the complaint on the University Legal Services website here.

One of the representative members of the class is 75 year old Edward Day, retired from 37 years as an employee of the D.C. Department of Human Services. Though he was active in the community, going to church, movies, and clubs before he became a nursing home resident, he has not left the facility except to go to the hospital in 4 years. "Once you get inside that gate, you're inside a jail," Day explains.

Here is a link to an article the lawsuit in December 22, 2010 issue of the Washington post www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/22/AR2010122204704_2.html

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