Case: Van Meter v. Mayhew

1:09-cv-00633 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

Filed Date: Dec. 18, 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 18, 2009, plaintiffs, three Medicaid recipients diagnosed with cerebral palsy, filed a lawsuit against the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in her official capacity (DHHS). The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maine and sought relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the Disability Rights Center, Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the National Health Law Program, alleged that DHHS had violated…

On December 18, 2009, plaintiffs, three Medicaid recipients diagnosed with cerebral palsy, filed a lawsuit against the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in her official capacity (DHHS). The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maine and sought relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the Disability Rights Center, Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the National Health Law Program, alleged that DHHS had violated the Nursing Home Reform Amendments to the federal Medicaid Act (NHRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1396r(e); Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), 29 U.S.C. § 794. The plaintiffs alleged that DHS had failed to accommodate plaintiffs' disabilities and to provide medically necessary treatment in the most integrated setting possible, as required by the ADA, Section 504, and other federal law, and instead forced them into nursing homes where they were functionally segregated from the outside world.

Plaintiffs claimed that they did not require intensive nursing care, and that with appropriate personal care and assistance, they all would be able to live in independently. In addition, none of the plaintiffs had ever been evaluated for or received individualized services appropriate to their needs during their confinement in the nursing facilities, contrary to the NHRA. Plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and declaratory relief, seeking to be placed in integrated, community settings such as their own apartments or houses, or small group homes located in the general community, or, if it was determined that their medical conditions were severe enough that they actually required treatment in nursing facilities, that they receive the personalized care required by the NHRA. They also sought litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

On August 10, 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, seeking to make the suit a class action. On August 11, 2010, the Court granted the motion, and plaintiffs filed an amended complaint immediately, defining the putative class as "[all] Maine residents who currently are or in the future will be: (1) eligible for and enrolled in [the State's Medicaid program], (2) age 21 or older, (3) have [cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or a condition closely related to intellectual disabilities as defined by federal regulation 42 C.F.R. § 435.1010, not including mental illness, autism, Alzheimer's, or dementia], and (4) who are or should be screened for admission to nursing facilities pursuant to 42. U.S.C. § 1396r(e)(7) and 42 C.F.R. §§ 483.112 et seq.2." According to the amended complaint, more than 48 individuals had been identified as meeting this definition. On January 31, 2011, the Court (Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr.) granted the Plaintiffs' motion to certify the class. Van Meter v. Harvey, 272 F.R.D. 274 (D. Me. 2011). The amended complaint sought injunctions requiring that all class members be promptly screened and provided with personalized services as required by the NHRA, and also screened for eligibility for community-based services, and, where appropriate, transferred from nursing homes to community settings. They continued to seek declaratory relief and costs, as well.

The parties began settlement discussions shortly thereafter. On August 25, 2011, the parties filed a joint motion seeking approval of their settlement, and a fairness hearing was held on April 24, 2012. On May 2, 2012, the Court (Judge Nancy Torresen) approved the settlement, dismissing the case with prejudice, retaining the level of jurisdiction required to enforce its terms for three years from the effective date of the settlement.

The settlement agreement required the DHS to establish a Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver (HCBW) program, which would provide a limited number of qualifying class-members the opportunity to live in community-based settings, providing them with "home supports; community supports; employment specialist services; work supports; home accessibility adaptations; communication aids; transportation services; assistive technology; consultation services and assessments; counseling and crisis services; maintenance occupational, physical and speech therapy; [and] case management and specialized medical equipment to the extent that those services are subject to federal financial participation under the Medicaid program." DHS would allow fifteen class members to opt into the HCBW program in the first year, and add an additional ten spaces in the program each year, until the program reached its maximum size of 75 class members. The settlement indicated that the parties would prefer that the HCBW program be established as soon as possible, but acknowledged that the federal government might require the DHS first establish Intermediate Care Facilities for Other Related Conditions (ICFs-ORC) before accepting its proposal for an HCBW. The parties agreed that if ICFs-ORC were determined to be necessary, the parties would return enter mediation to determine an appropriate extension of the court's jurisdiction over the case.

DHS also agreed to provide the Preadmission Screening and Annual Resident Review (PASARR) and personalized care required by the NHRA.

It appears both parties bore their own costs.

On July 16, 2013, the plaintiffs' filed a motion for mediation, seeking the Court's assistance resolving disputes relating to the PASARR program. They argued that mediation was necessary because the parties had failed to agree on a corrective plan for implementing PASARR within the 150 day window provided by the settlement.

There have been no updates to the docket after the request for mediation, and it appears that the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Alex Colbert-Taylor (8/6/2013)

Rachel Carpman (12/7/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4894009/parties/van-meter-v-maine-department-of-health-and-human-services-commissioner/


Judge(s)

Kravchuk, Margaret J. (Maine)

Torresen, Nancy (Maine)

Woodcock, John A. Jr. (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comart, Jack (Maine)

Converse, Staci K (Maine)

Ociepka, Sean P (Maine)

Perkins, Martha Jane (North Carolina)

Rice, Peter M (Maine)

Young, Jeffrey Neil (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barnard, Justin B (Maine)

Judge(s)

Kravchuk, Margaret J. (Maine)

Torresen, Nancy (Maine)

Woodcock, John A. Jr. (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comart, Jack (Maine)

Converse, Staci K (Maine)

Ociepka, Sean P (Maine)

Perkins, Martha Jane (North Carolina)

Rice, Peter M (Maine)

Young, Jeffrey Neil (Maine)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barnard, Justin B (Maine)

Fortin, James E (Maine)

Hagedorn, William D. (Maine)

Raquet, Janine A (Maine)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:09-cv-00633

Docket

Van Meter v. Maine Department of Health And Human Services Commissioner

June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015

Docket
1

1:09-cv-00633

Complaint

Van Meter v. Dept. Health and Human Services

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

Complaint
30

1:09-cv-00633

First Amended Class Action Complaint

Van Meter v. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Aug. 11, 2010

Aug. 11, 2010

Complaint
41

1:09-cv-00633

Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

Van Meter v. Harvey

272 F.R.D. 274

Jan. 31, 2011

Jan. 31, 2011

Order/Opinion
44

1:09-cv-00633

Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction with Incorporated Memorandum of Law

Van Meter v. Mahew

April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011

Pleading / Motion / Brief
77

1:09-cv-00633

Settlement Agreement

Aug. 25, 2011

Aug. 25, 2011

Settlement Agreement
108

1:09-cv-00633

Order on Dismissal

Van Meter v. Harvey

May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

Order/Opinion
107

1:09-cv-00633

Opinion and Order on Proposed Settlement

Van Meter v. Harvey

May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4894009/van-meter-v-maine-department-of-health-and-human-services-commissioner/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
41

ORDER granting 23 Motion to Certify Class. By JUDGE JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. (MFS)

Jan. 31, 2011

Jan. 31, 2011

RECAP
107

OPINION AND ORDER ON PROPOSED SETTLEMENT re 77 Motion for Approval of Settlement By JUDGE NANCY TORRESEN. (cef)

May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

RECAP
108

ORDER ON DISMISSAL By JUDGE NANCY TORRESEN. (cef)

May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Maine

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Olmstead Cases

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 18, 2009

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Three young adult residents of Maine, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, who were Medicaid recipients and who were institutionalized in nursing homes, on behalf of those similarly situated.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Maine Department of Health and Human Services, State

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

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

Nursing Care Reform Act of 1987/ Omnibus Reconciliation Act

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

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2011 - 2014

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Monitoring

Reasonable Accommodation

Reporting

Issues

General:

Commitment procedure

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Disparate Treatment

Funding

Government Services

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Housing

Individualized planning

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

Reassessment and care planning

Rehabilitation

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Mobility impairment

Mental Disability:

Cerebral palsy

Developmental disability without intellectual disability

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Benefit Source:

Medicaid