Case: Long v. Benson

4:08-cv-00026 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Filed Date: Jan. 15, 2008

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 15, 2008, a group of Medicaid-eligible adults with disabilities that were confined to a nursing-home facility filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act against the state's Health Care Administration and Department of Elder Affairs. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the state discriminated against them by faili…

On January 15, 2008, a group of Medicaid-eligible adults with disabilities that were confined to a nursing-home facility filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act against the state's Health Care Administration and Department of Elder Affairs. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the state discriminated against them by failing to offer services that would enable them to live in a community setting.

On June 7, 2008, the Court (Judge Robert L. Hinkle) denied defendants' motion to dismiss. On October 14, 2008, Judge Hinkle certified the class consisting of any Florida Medicaid-eligible adult who, at any time during the litigation, resided in a nursing home that received Medicaid funding, and who could and would have resided in the community with appropriate community-based services.

At the same time, the judge granted a preliminary injunction with regard to one of the named plaintiffs, Clayton Griffith. Griffith lived in a nursing home, the cost of which was covered by the state's Medicaid program. He had applied for and been determined eligible for a waiver that should have allowed him to live in the community rather than an institution. But the state's long waiting list precluded him from accessing the program. Nevertheless, he moved out of the home and into an apartment. Judge Hinkle entered an injunction ordering the state to provide Griffith Medicaid coverage for a certified nursing assistant. The state appealed the preliminary injunction, which the 11th Circuit affirmed on June 22, 2010.

The parties cross-moved for summary judgment; the judge denied both motions on January 19, 2011.

After a February 2011 bench trial, Judge Hinkle issued an order and opinion on January 3, 2012 that made permanent the injunction regarding Griffith, dismissed the other named plaintiffs' claims as moot, and decertified the class. To start, all but one of the other named plaintiffs had died during the course of litigation; the remaining one had decided to stay in the nursing home. The judge decertified the class in part because the state legislature had passed a new law which greatly improved the rate at which Medicaid-eligible adults were transitioned from nursing homes to community living. Post-legislation, Judge Hinkle reasoned, it was no longer true that the state had refused to act on grounds that applied generally to the class. He concluded that where the conditions that made class-certification appropriate are no longer present, the court has discretion to decertify, which he chose to do.

Summary Authors

Kunyi Zhang (2/5/2011)

Andrew Junker (10/22/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4816258/parties/lee-v-benson/


Judge(s)

Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Georgia)

Edmondson, James Larry (Georgia)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Hodges, William Terrell (Florida)

Sherrill, William C. Jr. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Canan, Stacy (District of Columbia)

Chonin, Neil (Florida)

Gold, Stephen F. (Pennsylvania)

Nelson, Alice K. (Florida)

Ruiz, Gabriela Magda (Florida)

Judge(s)

Birch, Stanley F. Jr. (Georgia)

Edmondson, James Larry (Georgia)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Hodges, William Terrell (Florida)

Sherrill, William C. Jr. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Canan, Stacy (District of Columbia)

Chonin, Neil (Florida)

Gold, Stephen F. (Pennsylvania)

Nelson, Alice K. (Florida)

Ruiz, Gabriela Magda (Florida)

Siegel, Jodi (Florida)

Somers, Sarah (North Carolina)

Vignery, Bruce (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bennett, Kelly Ann (Florida)

Blocker, William Michael II (Florida)

Davis, Ashley E. (Florida)

Duvall, Jeffries H (Florida)

Kent, Russel S. (Florida)

Kowalchyk, Dean Clinton (Florida)

Porter, L William II (Florida)

Sheeran, Andrew T (Florida)

Waas, George Lee (Florida)

Whitney, Enoch Jonathan (Florida)

York, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

May 10, 2012 Docket
1

Complaint

Jan. 15, 2008 Complaint
13

Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Feb. 19, 2008 Complaint
68

Order Denying Motion to Dismiss and Deferring Ruling on Class Certification

June 7, 2008 Order/Opinion
136

Order Certifying Class

2008 WL 4571904

Oct. 14, 2008 Order/Opinion
135

Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

2008 WL 4571903

Oct. 14, 2008 Order/Opinion

11th Circuit Opinion (Affirming District Court's grant of a Preliminary Injunction)

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

383 Fed.Appx. 930, 2010 WL 2500349

June 22, 2010 Order/Opinion
336

Order Denying Summary Judgment

Jan. 19, 2011 Order/Opinion
372

Order and Opinion [directing the entry of judgment from the plaintiff Griffith, dismissing the other named plaintiffs as moot, and decertifying the class]

Lee v. Dudek

Jan. 3, 2012 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4816258/lee-v-benson/

Last updated May 13, 2022

ECF Number Description Date Link
135

PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. Granting 123 Motion for Preliminary Injunction as to Plaintiff Clayton Griffin. Signed by CHIEF JUDGE ROBERT L HINKLE on 10/14/08. (pll)

Oct. 14, 2008 RECAP
136

ORDER CERTIFYING CLASS. Granting 22 Motion to Certify Class. Signed by CHIEF JUDGE ROBERT L HINKLE on 10/14/08. (pll)

Oct. 14, 2008 RECAP

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Olmstead Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 15, 2008

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A group of Florida residents who were Medicaid eligible adults with disabilities but were currently confined to a nursing facility.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Steve Gold

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State of Florida, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2012 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - governmental

Classification / placement

Confinement/isolation

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Housing

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit

Benefit Source:

Medicaid