Filed Date: Sept. 3, 1974
Closed Date: 1994
Clearinghouse coding complete
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.
Angela Heverling (5/7/2007)
For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/9778349/parties/gary-w-v-state-of-la/
Attwood, Cynthia L. (District of Columbia)
Berzon, Stephen P. (District of Columbia)
Blackmon, Carmack M. (Louisiana)
Castille, Charles F. (Louisiana)
Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
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)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/9778349/gary-w-v-state-of-la/
Last updated July 5, 2023, 3:16 a.m.
State / Territory: Louisiana
Filing Date: Sept. 3, 1974
Closing Date: 1994
Case Ongoing: No
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
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Order Duration: 1976 - 1993
Content of Injunction:
Disability and Disability Rights:
Type of Facility: