California Olmstead and Olmstead Related Cases, 2013
map of California title=California

Updated May 2013

The Center for PAS has tracked 17 Olmstead related case(s) in California.

This information is extracted from the "Olmstead and Olmstead-Related Lawsuits" table in the "Introduction to Olmstead Lawsuits and Olmstead Plans" report published on the center for PAS website.

California: Sobky v. Smoley

Date filed:

1991

Case status:

Plaintiff win (1994)

Primary Target group:

HIV/other

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

8

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Class action challenged denial of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) to Medicaid eligible people because the county they live in did not have a MMT program.

Progress:

Appeal Court upheld ruling stating services should be provided; with 'reasonable promptness', evenly across the state & with adequate scope & duration of treatment, noting that if beneficiaries wait different lengths of time it constitutes discrimination

California: Coffelt v. Dept of Developmental Services

Date filed:

1990

Case status:

Settlement (1994)

Primary Target group:

MR/DD

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

2, 11

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case challenging the placement of people with MR/DD a in institutions.

Progress:

Settlement (a net decrease of 2,000 in the institutional population over 5 years & improved HCBS).

California: Richard S et al v. Dept of Developmental Services

Date filed:

1997

Case status:

Settlement (2000)

Primary Target group:

MR/DD

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

2

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case (brought by doctor) claiming that plaintiffs should not be discharged to the community because they were in the most integrated setting appropriate (DD Centers).

Progress:

Settlement (included provision that treating professionals can express an objection to a community placement).

California: Hale "Buttercup" v. Belshe

Date filed:

1997

Case status:

Defendant win

Primary Target group:

HCBS

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

2

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Class action challenging failure to comply with PASRRg, improperly imposing caps on mental health rehabilitation & not providing services in the least restrictive setting.

Progress:

Case voluntarily dismissed as appropriate placements were identified.

California: Emily Q. v. Bonta

Date filed:

1998

Case status:

Plaintiff win

Primary Target group:

Children

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

2, 16

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case regarding lack of provision of therapeutic behavioral health services to medically needy children receiving EPDST services under Medicaid.

Progress:

Complaint upheld.

California: Black v. Dept of Mental Health

Date filed:

1998

Case status:

Defendant win (2000)

Primary Target group:

Mental Illness

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

2

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case brought by the Administrator of the estate of a person with mental illness, claiming the state violated the ADA by discharging the individual from a private institution to the community.

Progress:

Complaint dismissed. Appeal Court upheld this, ruling that Olmstead clarified that the ADA does not impose a standard of care on states & does not prohibit inappropriate community discharge.

California: Sanchez et al v. Johnson et al 00cv01593

Date filed:

2000

Case status:

Defendant win (2005)

Primary Target group:

MR/DD

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

3, 23

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Plaintiffs (including service providers) challenged the disparity between wages for direct support professionals in institutions & in the community11. The Judge decided the trial would only examine whether payments are sufficient to provide quality services. Drawing on other cases (Sabree et al, PN6 & CA Association of Health Facilities, CA7) the court dismissed the case as Medicaid law does not give individually enforceable rights.

Progress:

Plaintiffs appealed but the Ninth Circuit rejected their claims.

To download the 9th Circuit's opinion, go to:
http://archive.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/3A95CF272053DC6E882570510054C594/$file/0415228.pdf?openelement

California: Davis et al.v. CA Health and Human Services Agency et al

Date filed:

2000

Case status:

Settlement (2004)

Primary Target group:

HCBS

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

2, 3, 23

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Class action brought by a coalition of organizations on behalf of residents of Laguna Honda nursing facility. The US Dept of Justice also conducted an investigation & found it to be in breach of Olmstead.

Progress:

Settlement (includes targeted case management for people living in the facility or at risk of admission). The state will also revise their screening program for individuals with psychiatric disabilities with an emphasis on community alternatives versus nursing homes. The plaintiffs reserve the right to re-file the lawsuits if there are insufficient community options.

California: Capitol People First et al v. CA Dept of Developmental Services et al.

Date filed:

2002

Case status:

Settlement (2009)

Primary Target group:

MR/DD

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

2, 23

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case (in state court) challenges that the state unnecessarily institutionalizes people with MR/DD a & requests changes including that the state offers the full range of Medicaid & state HCBS. Class certification was denied.

Progress:

Settlement. Judge Freedman granted final approval of the settlement agreement on April 24, 2009.

Details of the settlement can be found at:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/CPFvDDS/Summary_of_Settlement-2009-04-27.pdf

Additional information about the case can be found at:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/CPFvDDS/index.htm

California: Rodde et al. v. Bonta et al 03-01580

Date filed:

2003

Case status:

Settlement (2004)

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

2, 7, 27

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Case challenging the closure of Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Hospital. It argues that without the service people with disabilities will not learn to live independently & risk institutionalization & are being treated differently to other Medicaid beneficiaries. Appeal Court upheld an injunction on closure (noting that the plaintiffs are likely to win the ADA claim). This does not mean the facility cannot close but alternative services should be found before this happens.

Progress:

Settlement. The plaintiffs reached a settlement with the County. The County will keep Rancho open for at least three years from the date the settlement becomes final, unless a buyer appears before this time. During this time period, Rancho will continue providing medical services to people with disabilities and will a buyer for the hospital or establish a nonprofit organization to take it over. If the hospital closes, the County must provide adequate continuation of services for its patients with Medi-Cal.

To download the settlement agreement:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/Rodde/RoddeFinalAgreement.pdf

California: Mark Chambers et al. v. City and County of San Francisco

Date filed:

2006

Case status:

Settlement (2008)

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

37

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Six residents of Laguna Hospital, joined by the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco, filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the City and County of San Francisco's policies regarding the institutionalization of people with disabilities. The plaintiffs argue that they are capable of and would prefer to live in the community. Protection and Advocacy, Inc. is the lead counsel with co-counsel from Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, AARP Foundation Litigation, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the law firm of Howrey LLP.

To view a summary of the lawsuit:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/LHH/Index.htm

Progress:

The federal district court granted final approval of a settlement in the Chambers case on September 18, 2008. For plaintiffs and eligible Laguna Honda residents, the settlement consists of access to a Medi-Cal HCBS waiver, a rental subsidy program that will provide accessible housing and care coordination for programs such as attendant and nursing care, care management, mental health services, assistance with meals and substance abuse treatment.

To read a summaryof the settlement agreement:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/LHH/Summary_of_Settlement-2009-05-22.pdf

California: Katie A., etc., et al., v. Diana Bontá, etc., et al. [CV-02-05662 AHM]

Date filed:

2002

Case status:

Settlement

Primary Target group:

Mental Illness

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Related

References:

38

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

Yes (Support brief)

Summary:

Class action suit challenged the state's practice of confining mentally ill children who are in the state's foster care system or at risk of removal from their families and who have mental health needs into hospitals and large group homes rather than home and community-based options. The district court ordered that the state must provide community services to children with mental health needs. As of July 2006, the federal Court of Appeal (9th Circuit) denied the state's request for an emergency stay of the district court's March 14th order.

Progress:

Settlement. The plaintiffs filed a renewed preliminary injunction order in September 2008. Judge Matz ruled that the wraparound community-based services are Medi-Cal eligible. The judge ordered the parties to provide guidance to county mental health agencies and eligible recipients on how wraparound services should be designated and billed. On March 2009, a Special Master was appointed to determine whether parties can reach an agreement on tasks set for in Judge Matz's order. Since that time, the special master and the parties have been engaged in settlement negotiations. As of September 27, 2011, a settlement proposal was reached that is the result of two years of negotiations supervised by the Special Master. This proposed settlement would require the following from the state:

  • instruct providers on delivering therapeutic foster care as a Medicaid service;
  • convene an interagency task force to advance keeping children with mental health issues with their families; and
  • create a system to identify children in need of the covered mental health services and to link them with those services.

As of December 5, 2011, Judge Matz approved the settlement agreement that requires the state to make two types of metal health services, "Intensive Home Based Services" and "Intensive Care Coordination" available to certain children under Medicaid.

To read the December 5, 2011 news release on the approved settlement, go to:
http://www.healthlaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=665:settlement-puts-community-based-mental-health-services-for-foster-care-children-on-the-medi-cal-menu&catid=37:news-a-alerts&Itemid=123

To read the settlement agreement, go to:
http://www.healthlaw.org/images/stories/Katie_A._settlement_9.1.11_executed_version.pdf

To read the previous news release on the proposed settlement, go to:
http://www.healthlaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=628:settlement-proposal-reached-in-case-seeking-community-based-mental-health-services-for-foster-care-c&catid=37:news-a-alerts&Itemid=123

To read the proposed settlement agreement, go to:
http://www.healthlaw.org/images/stories/Katie_A._settlement_9.1.11_executed_version.pdf

For an update on the case:
http://www.youthlaw.org/litigation/ncyl_cases/child_welfare/00/

To read the Special Master’s report to the U.S. District Court (5/27/10), go to:
http://www.youthlaw.org/fileadmin/ncyl/youthlaw/litigation/Katie_A.2/Katie-A-Special-Masters-Report-to-the-Court-May-27-2010-FINAL-1.pdf

To view the amended complaint (12/20/2002):
http://www.youthlaw.org/fileadmin/ncyl/youthlaw/litigation/katiea_complaint.pdf

California: Napper v. County of Sacramento 10-CV-01119

Date filed:

2010

Case status:

Settlement (2011)

Primary Target group:

Mental Illness

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

39, 45

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

Yes (Support brief)

Summary:

Plaintiffs allege that county violates ADA by failing to ensure sufficient outpatient mental health services to avoid placing individuals at risk of institutionalization. In July 2010, the US filed a Statement of Interest in support of Plaintiffs Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

Progress:

Settlement. An interim agreement between the defendants and plaintiffs was made on October 24, 2010. A federal court had determined that the County's plan to cut outpatient services placed mental health clients in the County at risk of in-patient hospitalization. A final settlement was approved in January 2011 whereby some 5,000 adults with significant psychiatric disabilities will continue to receive outpatient services from their current providers.

For more information: www.disabilityrightsca.org To read the US Statement of Interest in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminar Injunction filed Jul. 19, 2010, go to:
http://www.ada.gov/briefs/interest_Napper_br.pdf

California: Oster et al. v. Lightboune, (V.L. v. Wagner) C 4:09-04668-CW

Date filed:

2009

Case status:

Settlement

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

3, 45

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

Yes (Support brief)

Summary:

Plaintiffs challenge state's alterations to its In-Home Supportive Services Program, alleging changes to eligibility criteria threaten to force individuals into institutional placements. On March 18, 2013, the state and plaintiffs from this lawsuit (Oster v. Lightbourne) and another (Dominguez v. Schwarzenegger) reached a settlement that would restore the cuts to In-Home Supportive Services. From the Disability Rights California press release (3/19/13): "In the Oster lawsuit, IHSS recipients and their caregivers had won temporary court orders over the past 4 years that stopped the State from implementing cuts to IHSS. These cuts would have meant a significant reduction in hours, or complete disqualification from IHSS, for hundreds of thousands of current IHSS recipients. The State had appealed the earlier favorable court decisions, which meant that a higher court could allow the deep cuts in IHSS to go into effect. Finally, the settlement provides a pathway to stabilize the IHSS program with new revenue and the possibility of restoring all cuts in IHSS hours (including the 3.6% cut that went into effect in 2009) over the next two years. In the settlement, the State has agreed to repeal and eliminate two major cuts to IHSS: (1) the 20% across-the-board reduction in IHSS hours from 2011, and (2) the termination or reduction in IHSS for many recipients based on their functional index score from 2009." For more information on the settlement, go to: http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/V.L.-v-Wagner/index.htm

Progress:

The US filed an Amicus Brief supporting plaintiffs in March 2010. The Court issued an order to stop the State from moving forward with the program changes. The State appealed and the case is currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On March 2, 2012, US District Judge Claudia Wilken granted a preliminary injunction to the cuts to IHSS saying two recent bills reducing IHSS hours (AB X44 and SB 73) violate the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. She wrote, "Unnecessary isolation is a form of discrimination against people with disabilities." Judge Wilken also certified the plaintiffs as a class.

For a news article on the March 2, 2012 preliminary injunction, go to:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/07/44473.htm

To read the March 2, 2012 preliminary injunction, go to:
http://www.udwa.org/pdf_docs/2012/507%20Preliminary%20Injunction.pdf

To read the March 2, 2012 order for granting plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, go to:
http://www.udwa.org/pdf_docs/2012/506%20Order%20Granting%20PI.pdf

For updates on the case, go to:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/V.L.-v-Wagner/index.htm

To read the order granting a preliminary injunction on October 2009, go to:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/news/Order_granting_preliminary_injunction-2009-10-23.pdf

To read the Brief of the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Plaintiffs-Appellees filed Mar. 2, 2010, go to:
http://www.ada.gov/briefs/oster_amicusbr.pdf

California: Darling et al. v. Douglas, [C-09--3798 SBA]

Date filed:

2009

Case status:

Settlement (2011)

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

45

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

Yes (Support brief)

Summary:

On November 17, 2011, Parties settled a federal class action lawsuit which challenged the elimination of Adult Day Health Care as a Medi-Cal optional benefit. By March 1, 2011, the Settlement Agreement transitions the ADHC program from a Medi-Cal state plan optional benefit into a new service -- Community Based Adult Services or "CBAS" - which will be provided through under a Medi-Cal 1115 Waiver program. There will be no enrollment cap on the number of individuals who can be served under the CBAS program and services will be provided at no cost to recipients. CBAS will be provided through Medi-Cal managed care plans in most parts of the state. In counties where managed care is not available, and for people who are not eligible for managed care, CBAS will remain a fee-for- service Medi-Cal benefit. The settlement resolves the entire lawsuit, which was filed over two years ago. Plaintiffs have argued that elimination of ADHC, without adequate and appropriate replacement services, would violate the ADA and other laws, by placing tens of thousands of ADHC participants at risk of institutionalization, hospitalization, injury or death. The Court issued two preliminary injunctions, stopping cutbacks in the ADHC program, and was set to hold a hearing on the third preliminary injunction later today. The State's appeal of the second preliminary injunction is pending in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal and will be withdrawn pursuant to the settlement. The United States Department of Justice participated in the lawsuit, by filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the appeal, and filing two Statements of Interest. The court has granted preliminary approval of settlement agreement, in December 2011.

To view the preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, go to:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/Darling-v-Douglas/415%20Order%20Granting%20Preliminary%20Approval%20of%20Settlement%20Agreement%2012-14-11.pdf
To view the settlement agreement, go to:
http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Documents/Darling%20v.%20Douglas%20Settlement%20Agreement.pdf

For more information about the case, go to:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/advocacy/Darling-v-Douglas/index.html

To view the two statements of interest filed by the United States, go to:
http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/documents/darling_supp_soi.pdf
and
http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/documents/darling_soi.pdf

California: Cota v. Maxwell-Jolly 09-3798

Date filed:

2010

Case status:

Open

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

45

Class action:

Yes

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

Yes (Support brief)

Summary:

In 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stopped the State of California from reducing the maximum weekly number of days of Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) services, which enable elderly individuals and individuals with physical and mental disabilities to live in the community and avoid hospitalization and institutionalization. (656 F.Supp. 2d 1161). The Court held that the State had failed to put in place measures to ensure that recipients of ADHC impacted by the reductions would not be placed at risk of institutionalization, in violation of the ADA. In 2010, the Court prevented the State from implementing more restrictive eligibility criteria, reasoning that the State's plan to alter eligibility criteria, without more action by the State to improve the process for community placements, would again place recipients at risk of institutionalization. (688 F. Supp. 2d 980)

The State appealed the Court's 2010 decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the United States filed an Amicus Curiae Brief supporting the plaintiffs' argument that the State's planned alterations to eligibility criteria would place individuals with disabilities at risk of institutionalization. Plaintiffs filed a motion to Supplement Complaint on June 2, 2011 and has been renamed Darling v. Douglas.

To read the Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement Complaint filed Jun. 2, 2011, go to:
http://www.caads.org/pdf/pdf/adhc_3_day_cap_judges_order_to_supplement_complaint_2011_06_02.pdf

To read the Second Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief filed Jun. 2, 2011, go to:
http://www.caads.org/pdf/pdf/adhc_3_day_cap_second_amended_complaint_2011_06_02.pdf

To read the Brief of the US as Amicus Curiae Supporting Plaintiffs-Appellees filed Jun. 28, 2010, go to:
http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/documents/cota_brief.pdf

California: Carranza v. Douglas [2:12-at-01555]

Date filed:

2012

Case status:

Open

Primary Target group:

Physical Disability

Case Type (Olmstead e or Related f):

Olmstead

References:

Class action:

No

US DOJ participation (type of participation):

No

Summary:

Pablo Carranza is a young man with muscular dystrophy who has been living at home with his parents with Medi-Cal funded 24-hour care which included skilled nursing services. As he turned 21, Medi-Cal substantially decreased to the point where his parents will not be able to care for him at all. Without same hours of care, Pablo Carranza is at risk for entering a sub-acute nursing facility against his wishes. He is represented by Disability Rights California and the Western Center for Law and Poverty. To read more about the case, go to a press release from the Disability Rights California (12/4/12):
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/news/2012_newsabout%20us/pressrelease%202012-12-04.html
To read the complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief filed on 12/4/12, go to:
http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/news/2012_newsabout%20us/DOC%201_Complaint%2012%204%202012.pdf

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