Case: Gary W. v. Louisiana

2:74-cv-02412 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: Sept. 3, 1974

Closed Date: 1994

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 3, 1974, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging that agencies within the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration violated the constitutional and statutory rights of emotionally disturbed children and children with intellectual disabilities by placing them in various Texas institutions where they were subjected to poor living conditions and the denial of adequate treatment. The plaintiffs were represented b…

On September 3, 1974, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging that agencies within the Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration violated the constitutional and statutory rights of emotionally disturbed children and children with intellectual disabilities by placing them in various Texas institutions where they were subjected to poor living conditions and the denial of adequate treatment. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. The docket indicates that an attorney from the Children's' Defense Fund was also involved in the litigation at some point.

On July 26, 1976, following a trial, the district court (Judge Alvin B. Rubin) concluded that the children's rights had been violated and ordered that the violations be remedied on a child-specific basis. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 437 F.Supp. 1209 (E.D. La. 1976). In this Principle Order, Judge Rubin found that the children who were placed in Texas were not given the same treatment as those in Louisiana facilities and were denied privileges such as visits with family. The state was not required to return the children to Louisiana immediately; rather, it was required to assure proper treatment in Texas until new facilities in Louisiana could be constructed.

Judge Rubin ordered the Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources to pay attorneys' fees. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 441 F.Supp. 1121 (E.D. La. 1977). Defendants appealed claiming that the state constitution prohibited the payment of attorneys' fees from Department funds. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judge Irving Loeb Goldberg) affirmed. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 622 F.2d 804 (5th Cir. 1980).

After the case was assigned to Judge Robert Frederick Collins, the district court assigned a special master. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed that decision. Gary W. v. State of Louisiana, 601 F.2d 240 (5th Cir. 1979). The docket indicates that Dr. Brenda Lyles served as Special Master. In the following years, various class members were dismissed as they were placed in the least restrictive settings. All plaintiffs had been placed in residential settings by 1989.

In a 1993 opinion, the district court (Judge A.J. McNamara) granted the defendants' motion for relief from judgment. Gary W. v. Louisiana, 1993 WL 17686 (E.D. La. Jan. 19, 1993). Judge McNamara held that previous micromanagement over the treatment of the class members had resulted in them receiving treatment far greater than that available to non-class members. In addition, all of the class-members were no longer minor children. The court determined that the Principle Order had been satisfied and there was no justification for continuing the litigation. On January 12, 1994, the court entered a judgment for the Plaintiffs in the amount of $180,400 for attorneys' fees and costs.

We have no further information on this matter.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (5/7/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Collins, Robert Frederick (Louisiana)

Fox, James Carroll (North Carolina)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Hill, James Clinkscales (Florida)

King, Carolyn Dineen (Texas)

McNamara, A. J. (Louisiana)

Politz, Henry Anthony (Louisiana)

Rubin, Alvin Benjamin (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Attwood, Cynthia L. (District of Columbia)

Berzon, Stephen P. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Collins, Robert Frederick (Louisiana)

Fox, James Carroll (North Carolina)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Hill, James Clinkscales (Florida)

King, Carolyn Dineen (Texas)

McNamara, A. J. (Louisiana)

Politz, Henry Anthony (Louisiana)

Rubin, Alvin Benjamin (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Attwood, Cynthia L. (District of Columbia)

Berzon, Stephen P. (District of Columbia)

Daniel, Susan G. (District of Columbia)

Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)

Ebb, Nancy (District of Columbia)

Edelman, Marian Wright (District of Columbia)

Holm, Geneviene (District of Columbia)

Kellogg, R. James (Louisiana)

Mayer, Steven L. (Louisiana)

Rittenberg, William E. (Louisiana)

Sheran, Thomas R. (District of Columbia)

Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)

Smith, O. Whitman (Vermont)

Thrasher, Louis M. (District of Columbia)

Utter, David J. (Louisiana)

Wilks, Dale C. (Louisiana)

Yohalem, Daniel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Blackmon, Carmack M. (Louisiana)

Castille, Charles F. (Louisiana)

Darnell, Chester E. (Texas)

DeHay, J. Carlisle Jr. (Texas)

Dore, James P. (Louisiana)

Funderburk, Robert Jr. (Louisiana)

Gilmore, Jerry C. (Texas)

Gooch, Joel E. (Louisiana)

Grodner, R. Marshall (Louisiana)

Gurley, Ronald K. (Louisiana)

Halligan, Thomas S. (Louisiana)

Jackson, Randall C. (Texas)

Jones, Louis M. (Louisiana)

Kendall, Clarence F. II (Texas)

Long, Shelby K. (Texas)

O'Conner, Marjorie G. (Louisiana)

Rienstra, John (Texas)

Screen, James P. (Louisiana)

Thornton, James J. Jr. (Louisiana)

Torry, Gerard N. (Louisiana)

Walker, Harper (Texas)

Wegmann, Cynthia Anne (Louisiana)

Weigel, John J. (Louisiana)

West, Dan E (Louisiana)

Wogan, John D. (Louisiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)

Ebbs, Nancy (District of Columbia)

Gallinghouse, S. Mark (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

July 1, 1992 Docket

Court Docket

Jan. 12, 1994 Docket

Reported Opinion

437 F.Supp. 1209

July 26, 1976 Order/Opinion

Opinion

429 F.Supp. 711

Feb. 3, 1977 Order/Opinion

Opinion

441 F.Supp. 1121

Oct. 31, 1977 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

601 F.2d 240

Aug. 24, 1979 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

622 F.2d 804

July 31, 1980 Order/Opinion

Order

Gary v. Louisiana

1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4862

June 10, 1987 Order/Opinion

Appellate Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

861 F.2d 1366

Dec. 21, 1988 Order/Opinion
5630

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Gary W v. Louisiana

1990 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1746

Feb. 20, 1990 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Problems in Implementing a Court Order Mandating Deinstitutionalization and a Right to Treatment

William E. Ritterberg

Jan. 1, 1979

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT ( 50 summons(es) issued ) (cp) (Entered: 04/03/1992)

Sept. 3, 1974
2

Notice Case reassigned to Judge A. J. McNamara (sr) (Entered: 07/06/1992)

July 1, 1992

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Special Collection(s):

Court-ordered receiverships

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 3, 1974

Closing Date: 1994

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, and other children from Louisiana who have been placed in Texas institutions either by direct action of the State of Louisiana or with financial support from the state.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Louisiana Health and Human Resources Administration , State

Day Developmental Training (New Orleans), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1976 - 1993

Content of Injunction:

Receivership

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Parents (visitation, involvement)

Wait lists

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Disability:

Least restrictive environment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit