Case: Alexander v. Senior

4:18-cv-00569 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Filed Date: Dec. 12, 2018

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 12, 2018, six low-income older adults and adults with disabilities filed a putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The case was assigned to Judge Robert L. Hinkle. Represented by Disability Rights Florida, Southern Legal Counsel, and Justice in Aging, the plaintiffs sued the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Medicai…

On December 12, 2018, six low-income older adults and adults with disabilities filed a putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The case was assigned to Judge Robert L. Hinkle. Represented by Disability Rights Florida, Southern Legal Counsel, and Justice in Aging, the plaintiffs sued the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Medicaid Act.

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ administration of the Medicaid long-term care system violated the civil rights of the plaintiffs by requiring them to choose between receiving needed care and remaining in their homes. Specifically, the defendants’ administrative, planning, and funding decisions heavily favored treatment in nursing facilities, perpetuating the unnecessary institutionalization and segregation of older adults and people with disabilities. The plaintiffs alleged that this violated Title II of the ADA. They sought declarative and injunctive relief.

On March 12, 2019, the plaintiffs sought to certify a class. The proposed class consisted of adult residents of Florida who were at risk of unnecessary institutionalization without home- and community-based long-term care services because they: (1) were residing, and wish to remain, at home or in a community residential setting; (2) qualified or would qualify if allowed to enroll in the Long-Term Care Waiver; and (3) had been placed on the Long-Term Care Waiver waitlist.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on June 3, 2019, adding four new plaintiffs. On October 11, 2019, the defendants sought partial summary judgment as to the plaintiff's claim that "despite the specific permission that federal law confers on Florida to limit the capacity of its program, the limits on enrollment in the long-term managed care program violate the general prohibition against discrimination in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

The court denied class certification on October 27, 2019, citing a conflict among proposed class members and stating that the plaintiffs had failed to sufficiently establish the numerosity requirement for class certification. 2019 WL 5677948. This led the defendants to file a second motion for partial summary judgment on February 6, 2020, asserting that the plaintiffs could recover only individual relief, not classwide relief. Following this motion, the plaintiffs filed a second motion for class certification on February 10, 2020, modifying the proposed class to eliminate conflicts among proposed class members. In addition, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, as to one plaintiff, on February 20, 2020.

On March 31, 2020, the court issued a series of rulings on the motions. First, the court granted the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment, stating that although “the ADA requires a state to provide reasonable accommodations for disabilities...the ADA does not require such an accommodation if it would fundamentally alter a state's programs.” An injunction requiring the state to serve additional individuals through the waiver—to obtain an increase in or to exceed the cap—would fundamentally alter the state's program. 2020 WL 1547880. Second, the court denied the plaintiff’s second motion to certify a class, finding that the motion was untimely and failed to adequately meet the prerequisites of class certification. 2020 WL 1545739. Third, the court granted in part the defendant’s second motion for summary judgment. As the court denied the plaintiff’s second motion to certify class, the court dismissed any claims for relief on behalf of individuals who were not named plaintiffs. 2020 WL 1545738.

On May 11, 2020, the parties notified the court that they had reached a settlement in principle and would file dismissal documents in 30 days. The next day, the court dismissed all claims and reserved jurisdiction to enforce the order to comply with the settlement agreement. As of June 10, 2020, the settlement agreement has not been posted publicly. But as the enforcement of the settlement agreement is ongoing, this case remains open.

Summary Authors

Michael Beech (2/3/2019)

Bogyung Lim (6/10/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Frank, Michael J. (Florida)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bailey, Regan Monica (Maryland)

Carlson, Eric (California)

Dunn, Chelsea L. (Florida)

Gomez-Rodon, Ashley L. (Florida)

Harley, Jennifer Thompson (Florida)

Heystek, Amanda E (Florida)

Heystek [inactive], Amanda E. (Florida)

Lewitz, Matthew Evan (California)

Judge(s)

Frank, Michael J. (Florida)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bailey, Regan Monica (Maryland)

Carlson, Eric (California)

Dunn, Chelsea L. (Florida)

Gomez-Rodon, Ashley L. (Florida)

Harley, Jennifer Thompson (Florida)

Heystek, Amanda E (Florida)

Heystek [inactive], Amanda E. (Florida)

Lewitz, Matthew Evan (California)

Reichenberg, David (New York)

Siegel, Jodi (Florida)

Siegel-McLaughlin, Rachel Louise (Florida)

Sullivan, John J. (New York)

Wong, Carol A (District of Columbia)

Wright, Nancy E. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bardos, Andy V. (Florida)

Grow, Stefan R. (Florida)

Lukis, Ashley Hoffman (Florida)

Moore, James Timothy Jr. (Florida)

Sheeran, Andrew T (Florida)

Tritschler, Richard (Florida)

Other Attorney(s)

Fox, Deena (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

May 13, 2020 Docket
2

Complaint

Dec. 12, 2018 Complaint
80

Order Denying Class Certification

Alexander v. Mayhew

2019 WL 5677948

Oct. 27, 2019 Order/Opinion
131

Order Granting the Defendants' Second Summary-Judgment Motion in Part

Alexander v. Mayhew

2020 WL 1545738

March 31, 2020 Order/Opinion
132

Order Denying the Second Motion to Certify a Class

Alexander v. Mayhew

334 F.R.D. 626, 2020 WL 1545739

March 31, 2020 Order/Opinion
130

Order Granting the Defendants' First Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

Alexander v. Mayhew

466 F.Supp.3d 439, 2020 WL 1547880

March 31, 2020 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Alexander et al. v. Mayhew and Prudom

Justice in Aging

Mr. Alexander, is partially paralyzed as the result of a back surgery. He cannot bathe, use the bathroom, clean, cook, drive, or maneuver himself in and out of his wheelchair on his own. He lives wit… Dec. 19, 2019 https://www.justiceinaging.org/our-work/litigation/mayhewandprudom/

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 12, 2018

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Elderly individuals on Medicaid waitlists for community- or home-based long-term care services.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, State

Florida Department of Elder Affairs, State

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Medicaid, 42 U.S.C §1396 (Title XIX of the Social Security Act)

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Conditional Dismissal

Issues

General:

Payment for care

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

Reasonable Modifications

Wait lists

Discrimination-basis:

Age discrimination

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Benefit Source:

Medicaid