Case: Conn. ARC v. Thorne

2:78-cv-00653 | U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut

Filed Date: Dec. 6, 1978

Closed Date: 1998

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In December 1978, the Connecticut Association of Retarded Citizens and twelve individuals filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. They sued the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR), the Department of Income Maintenance (DIM) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The class action lawsuit challenged the quality of care, living conditions, and residential placement of individuals with intellectual d…

In December 1978, the Connecticut Association of Retarded Citizens and twelve individuals filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. They sued the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR), the Department of Income Maintenance (DIM) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The class action lawsuit challenged the quality of care, living conditions, and residential placement of individuals with intellectual disabilities residing at the Mansfield Training School (MTS).

Based on the pre-Pacer docket, the United States moved to participate as a litigating amicus curiae on December 13, 1979. The United States proceeded to participate in discovery for the next several years. On April 3, 1980 the New England Health Care Employees Union moved to intervene as defendants.

According to a 1994 order (30 F.3d 367), the District Court certified class in February 1980. The court defined the class as all persons residing at MTS or who may reside there in the future; all persons with intellectual disabilities who may be sent to MTS; and all persons who reside in other facilities but remain in MTS responsibility. In 1982, the District Court granted DHS's motion to be dismissed from the case

On July 13, 1983, Judge Foe oversaw a court trail. This lasted until October 12, 1983. On December 2, all parties signed a consent decree. On December 19, 1983, the New England Health Care Employees Union brought objections to a separate consent decree (based on the pre-Pacer docket, it is unclear how the two consent decrees differed).

On April 9, 1984, Judge Foe approved an additional consent decree. According to the decree, the DMR and the Department of Income Maintenance agreed to overhaul the system for serving those with intellectual disabilities in Connecticut. The parties litigated attorneys fees for several months, and on October 12, 1984, Judge Foe ordered the State of Connecticut to pay the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia $237,600.

The court supervised the implementation of the consent decree. Based on the Pre-Pacer docket, it appears monitors found violations to the consent decree for the Bennett Hall class Members in late 1984. On May 2, 1985, the court ordered an implementation plan to resolve these violations.

In November of 1990, the court issued its Final Order. Part of the Final Order required consistent procedures for withholding CPR for terminally ill patients and for placing "Do Not Resuscitate Orders" in patients' folders.

In the early 1990s the defendants inappropriately placed "Do Not Resuscitate Orders" in patients' files and withheld CPR. On July 9, 1992, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to enforce the Final Order and moved to join the DHS as a defendant in the litigation. Although DHS was not a party to the final order, the District Court (Judge Eagan), granted both motions. Conn. ARC v. Thorne, 1993 WL 765698 (D. Conn. Feb. 12, 1993). He held that DHS was in a position to frustrate the implementation of the Final Order when patients were transferred from a compliant DMR group home to a non-compliant DHS nursing home or hospital. He also granted the preliminary injunction, requiring defendants to implement the Final Order with all deliberate speed.

The DHS appealed. On July 25, 1994, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge John Mercer Walker Jr.) held that it was improper for the District Court to add DHS as a party and reversed its order granting joinder. Ass'n for Retarded Citizens of Conn. v. Thorne, 30 F. 3d 367 (2d Cir. 1994). The court reasoned that a judgment based on a consent decree cannot be enforced against third parties.

Prior to the Second Circuit's opinion, plaintiffs had moved for attorneys' fees. Following that decision, plaintiffs moved for extension of time to move for reconsideration. The district court (Judge Eagan) granted the extension and held that plaintiffs could not be awarded attorneys' fees for litigation over joining DHS as a defendant. The Second Circuit (Judge Walker) affirmed. Ass'n for Retarded Citizens of Conn. v. Thorne, 68 F.3d 547 (2d Cir. 1995).

Based on the Pre-Pacer docket, the plaintiffs filed motions about contempt and "further orders" on December 15, 1995. The court held a trail for several days in February 1996, and ultimately granted $39,843.48 to plaintiffs in attorney fees.

The PACER docket for this case began in 1997 and shows that litigation continued through September 23, 1998 regarding attorneys' fees and status reports. Plaintiffs were awarded attorney fees, but no documents were available to indicate how much they were awarded.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (4/17/2006)

Maurice Youkanna (7/9/2014)

Gabriela Hybel (6/17/2017)

Related Cases

Conn. Traumatic Brain Injury Assoc. v. Hogan, District of Connecticut (1990)

People


Judge(s)

Covello, Alfred V. (Connecticut)

Eagan, Claire None (Oklahoma)

Walker, John Mercer Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brooks, Hollace (Connecticut)

Gilhool, Thomas K. (Pennsylvania)

Laski, Frank J. (Pennsylvania)

Shaw, David C. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barber, Hugh (Connecticut)

Blumenthal, Richard (Connecticut)

Lynch, Richard J. (Connecticut)

Judge(s)

Covello, Alfred V. (Connecticut)

Eagan, Claire None (Oklahoma)

Walker, John Mercer Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brooks, Hollace (Connecticut)

Gilhool, Thomas K. (Pennsylvania)

Laski, Frank J. (Pennsylvania)

Shaw, David C. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barber, Hugh (Connecticut)

Blumenthal, Richard (Connecticut)

Lynch, Richard J. (Connecticut)

MacGregor, Francis J. (Connecticut)

McGovern, Bernard F. Jr. (Connecticut)

Myrun, Maurice (Connecticut)

Salton, Henry A. (Connecticut)

Vogel, Sidney (Connecticut)

Welsh, James P. (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:78-cv-00653

Docket [NARA]

June 12, 1996

June 12, 1996

Docket

2:78-cv-00653

Docket [PACER]

Sept. 23, 1998

Sept. 23, 1998

Docket
1483

2:78-cv-00653

Ruling on Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Recommended Ruling on Motion to Join Third-Party Defendant

1993 WL 765698

Feb. 12, 1993

Feb. 12, 1993

Order/Opinion

93-09049

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

30 F.3d 367

July 25, 1994

July 25, 1994

Order/Opinion

94-00743

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

513 U.S. 1079, 115 S.Ct. 727, 130 L.Ed.2d 631

Jan. 9, 1995

Jan. 9, 1995

Order/Opinion

94-09043

01443

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

68 F.3d 547

Oct. 6, 1995

Oct. 6, 1995

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

Case closed 4/11/84 (Bauer, J.) Modified on 06/19/1997 (Entered: 06/12/1997)

June 12, 1997

June 12, 1997

Only first listed plaintiff and defendant are on electronic docket. See hard docket for more detailed party lists. Only current attorneys enetered onto electronic docket. (Bauer, J.) (Entered: 06/12/1997)

June 12, 1997

June 12, 1997

1648

STATUS REPORT on Placement of Class Members Remaining in Congregate Care settings by Gareth Thorne (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 06/18/1997)

June 18, 1997

June 18, 1997

1650

MEMORANDUM by Defendants in support of [1649-1] motion for Clarification of Class Member Status (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 12/05/1997)

Dec. 3, 1997

Dec. 3, 1997

1651

MOTION by Connecticut Assoc. to Extend Time to 1/30/98 to respond to Motion for Clarification of Class Members Status (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 01/06/1998)

Jan. 6, 1998

Jan. 6, 1998

ENDORSEMENT granting [1651-1] motion to Extend Time to 1/30/98 to respond to Motion for Clarification of Class Members Status, Brief Deadline set for 1/30/98 [1649-1] motion for Clarification of Class Member Status ( signed by Chief Judge Alfred V. Covello ) (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 01/09/1998)

Jan. 8, 1998

Jan. 8, 1998

ENDORSEMENT granting [1649-1] motion for Clarification of Class Member Status. See ENDORSEMENT ( signed by Chief Judge Alfred V. Covello ) (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 01/09/1998)

Jan. 8, 1998

Jan. 8, 1998

1652

LETTER dated 2/25/98 Regarding: Victor O'Brien by Gareth Thorne (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 03/02/1998)

Feb. 27, 1998

Feb. 27, 1998

1653

LETTER dated 3/10/98 Regarding: Letter of E. O'Brien 2/25/98 by Connecticut Assoc. (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 03/20/1998)

March 20, 1998

March 20, 1998

1654

LETTER from Governor's Council on Mental Retardation dated 3/13/98 Regarding: Victor O'Brien (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 03/20/1998)

March 20, 1998

March 20, 1998

1655

LETTER from Assist. Minority Leader Claudia "Dolly" Powers dated 3/3/98 Regarding: Victor O'Brien (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 03/20/1998)

March 20, 1998

March 20, 1998

1656

STATUS REPORT On Placement of Class Members Remaining in Congregate Care Settings by Gareth Thorne (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 03/20/1998)

March 20, 1998

March 20, 1998

1657

LETTER from Christel H. Truglia dated 4/15/98 Regarding: Victor Soto by Gareth Thorne (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 04/29/1998)

April 29, 1998

April 29, 1998

1658

MOTION by Connecticut Assoc. for Costs and Fees for period 4/23/96 through 6/1/98 (Brief Due 6/29/98 ) (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 06/08/1998)

June 8, 1998

June 8, 1998

1659

MEMORANDUM by Connecticut Assoc. in support of [1658-1] motion for Costs and Fees for period 4/23/96 through 6/1/98 (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 06/08/1998)

June 8, 1998

June 8, 1998

1660

RESPONSE by Gareth Thorne to [1658-1] motion for Costs and Fees for period 4/23/96 through 6/1/98 by Connecticut Assoc. (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 06/24/1998)

June 24, 1998

June 24, 1998

1661

REPLY by Gareth Thorne to response to [1658-1] motion for Costs and Fees for period 4/23/96 through 6/1/98 by Connecticut Assoc. (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 07/06/1998)

July 6, 1998

July 6, 1998

1662

RULING granting in part, denying in part [1658-1] motion for Costs and Fees for period 4/23/96 through 6/1/98 SEE RULING FOR DETAILS ( signed by Chief Judge Alfred V. Covello ) 3 Page(s) (D'Onofrio, B.) (Entered: 09/23/1998)

Sept. 23, 1998

Sept. 23, 1998

Case Details

State / Territory: Connecticut

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 6, 1978

Closing Date: 1998

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Present and future inmates of the Mansfield Training School

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation, State

Department of Income Maintenance, State

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $554.886.96

Order Duration: 1984 - 1998

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Classification / placement

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Informed consent/involuntary medication

Placement in mental health facilities

Sanitation / living conditions

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

End of life choice and DNR orders

Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis

Mental health care, general

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run