Case: U.S. v. Virginia

1:96-cv-00283 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Filed Date: March 4, 1996

Closed Date: June 3, 1998

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 4, 1990, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced, in a letter to the Governor of Virginia, its intent to launch an investigation, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., into conditions at the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC), an institution for individuals with developmental disabilities in Fairfax, Virginia. Five experts from the Department of Justice toured the facility, reviewed policies…

On May 4, 1990, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced, in a letter to the Governor of Virginia, its intent to launch an investigation, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., into conditions at the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC), an institution for individuals with developmental disabilities in Fairfax, Virginia. Five experts from the Department of Justice toured the facility, reviewed policies and procedures, interviewed NVTC staff, and audited reporting and investigation practices.

On April 9, 1991, the Department of Justice announced its findings. The Department of Justice reported that the health and safety of people living at NVTC was at risk for a number of reasons. NVTC employed too few people and inadequately trained those it did employ, which placed residents in danger of unnecessary chemical and physical restraint. Often mechanical restraints were accompanied by seclusion, which was a fire hazard. Individualized programming for residents was inadequate and recordkeeping deficiencies made it impossible to monitor an individual's progress. In addition, NVTC's medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medication and side effect monitoring we all inadequate. In addition, NVTC provided insufficient medical care, including medication monitoring and occupational therapy. Recordkeeping made it difficult to track the efficacy of individualized programming and medical care. In closing, the Department of Justice expressed the desire to negotiate a resolution.

Negotiations did not make enough progress and, on May 31, 1994, the Department of Justice threatened to file a CRIPA lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of conditions at NVTC. In addition to its earlier concerns, the Department of Justice chronicled systematic abuse and neglect at NVTC. For instance, individualized training programs were so inadequate that individuals became seriously sick or died as the result of aggressive, pica, and other self-injurious behaviors. One resident asphyxiated on a rubber glove, while another ate a reported seven cigarettes and one feminine hygiene pad in the span of two days. Similarly, inappropriate feeding techniques and poor nutrition endangered residents' health.

Virginia may have made an effort engage in productive negotiations, but the Department of Justice was not satisfied. On February 8, 1995, the Department of Justice notified the Governor of Virginia that, in addition to being unconstitutional, the conditions at NVTC violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794, the Social Security Act ("Medicaid"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396 et seq., and Virginia law.

On March 4, 1996, the Department of Justice filed a CRIPA lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, challenging conditions at NVTC. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief to address (1) individualized programming, (2) undue physical restraint and isolation, (3) facility safety, (4) medical care, (5) physical and occupational therapy, (6) medication monitoring, especially for tardive dyskenesia, and (7) staff numbers and training.

On May 21, 1996, the court (Judge Leonie M. Brinkema) refused to consolidate this lawsuit with United States v. Virginia, No. 96-284, MH-VA-0002, an action challenging the constitutionality of conditions at a Virginia psychiatric hospital. On May 21, 1996, the court also granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, but stayed its ruling to allow for settlement. On July 18, 1996, the court approved a settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement itself was mostly concerned with procedural elements, such as development of a plan for improvement, compliance deadlines, evaluation, and dismissal. The NVTC plan describes the required compliance. The plan emphasizes the importance of trained staff in the provision of developmental disability services. The plan stated detailed training requirements for direct care staff and incorporated training into almost every solution. For instance, the plan mandated the dismissal of employees who neglected or abused residents. Similarly, the plan sought to reduce the need for restraints by both improving staff development and requiring the interdisciplinary treatment teams' advance approval for the type of restraints to be used for each individual. Thus, both chemical restraints and draconian physical restraint techniques, such as papoose boards, were eliminated. Similar clauses addressed medical care, medication administration and tracking, physical and occupational therapy, abuse and injury reporting and investigations, recordkeeping, functional planning, community placement, and quality assurance.

The parties modified the settlement on May 30, 1997. On August 29, 1997, the Department of Justice inspected NVTC and found it was in compliance with the plan. On June 3, 1998, the court dismissed the lawsuit.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Chilcoat (7/7/2006)

Related Cases

U.S. v. Virginia, Eastern District of Virginia (1996)

People


Judge(s)

Brinkema, Leonie M. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)

Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)

Deutsch, David (District of Columbia)

Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)

Fahey, Helen F. (Virginia)

Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)

Parker, Richard (Virginia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Brinkema, Leonie M. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)

Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)

Deutsch, David (District of Columbia)

Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)

Fahey, Helen F. (Virginia)

Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)

Parker, Richard (Virginia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bigley, Garland L. (Virginia)

Fleming, Lynne R. (Virginia)

George, LaDale K. (Virginia)

Gilmore, James S. III (Virginia)

Hickey, Jane D. (Virginia)

Hurd, William H. (Virginia)

York, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Kelly, Timothy James (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:96-cv-00283

Docket (PACER)

June 3, 1998

June 3, 1998

Docket

Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Northern Virginia Training Center, Fairfax, Virginia

No Court

May 4, 1990

May 4, 1990

Notice Letter

Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Northern Virginia Training Center, Fairfax, Virginia

No Court

April 9, 1991

April 9, 1991

Findings Letter/Report

1:96-cv-00283

Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Northern Virginia Training Center, Fairfax, Virginia

No Court

May 31, 1994

May 31, 1994

Findings Letter/Report

1:96-cv-00283

Departmental Instruction No. 33, Reporting of Abuse of Clients

Aug. 20, 1994

Aug. 20, 1994

Other

Findings Letter re: Northern Virginia Training Center, Fairfax

No Court

Feb. 8, 1995

Feb. 8, 1995

Findings Letter/Report
1

1:96-cv-00283

Complaint

March 4, 1996

March 4, 1996

Complaint

1:96-cv-00283

Incident Reports

May 30, 1996

May 30, 1996

Discovery Material/FOIA Release

1:96-cv-00283

Table of Reportable Patient/Resident Incidents

June 15, 1996

June 15, 1996

Pleading / Motion / Brief

1:96-cv-00283

Northern Virginia Training Center Plan & Attachments

June 27, 1996

June 27, 1996

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 6, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT (clerk) (Entered: 03/05/1996)

March 4, 1996

March 4, 1996

NOTICE of Lawsuit and Waiver of Service forms given to attorney for service by mail as to defts (clerk) (Entered: 03/14/1996)

March 4, 1996

March 4, 1996

2

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance for United States of by Richard Parker (clerk) (Entered: 03/05/1996)

March 5, 1996

March 5, 1996

3

ORDER that the Summons and Complaint shall be deemed to have been served on all defts on 3/6/96 and defts shall serve a responsive pleading by 4/15/96-ent.& filed ( signed by Judge James C. Cacheris ) Copies Mailed: y (clerk) (Entered: 03/27/1996)

March 25, 1996

March 25, 1996

4

MOTION with Memorandum in Support thereof by Commonwealth of VA, George Allen, Robert Metcalf, Timothy Kelly, Janet Hill, David H. Lawson for More Definite Statement (Will Notice) (clerk) Modified on 04/19/1996 (Entered: 04/19/1996)

April 15, 1996

April 15, 1996

6

MEMORANDUM of Law by Commonwealth of VA, George Allen, Robert Metcalf, Timothy Kelly, Janet Hill, David H. Lawson in support of [5-1] motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) (clerk) (Entered: 04/19/1996)

April 15, 1996

April 15, 1996

7

MEMORANDUM of Law by United States of in opposition to [5-1] motion by defendants to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) (clerk) (Entered: 04/30/1996)

April 29, 1996

April 29, 1996

8

MEMORANDUM of Law by United States of in opposition to [4-1] motion for More Definite Statement (clerk) (Entered: 04/30/1996)

April 29, 1996

April 29, 1996

9

NOTICE of Hearing: Motion Hearing set for 10:00 5/10/96 for [5-1] motion by defendants to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), set for 10:00 5/10/96 for [4-1] motion for More Definite Statement (clerk) (Entered: 04/30/1996)

April 29, 1996

April 29, 1996

10

SCHEDULING ORDER setting Discovery cutoff 8/30/96 ; Pretrial Conference for 10:15 9/19/96 ; ( signed by Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. ) Copies Mailed: yes (clerk) (Entered: 05/01/1996)

May 1, 1996

May 1, 1996

11

REPLY by Commonwealth of VA, George Allen, Robert Metcalf, Timothy Kelly, Janet Hill, David H. Lawson to response to [4-1] motion for More Definite Statement by defendantsssss (clerk) (Entered: 05/09/1996)

May 9, 1996

May 9, 1996

12

REPLY by Commonwealth of VA, George Allen, Robert Metcalf, Timothy Kelly, Janet Hill, David H. Lawson to response to [5-1] motion by defendants to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) by defendantsssss (clerk) (Entered: 05/09/1996)

May 9, 1996

May 9, 1996

Minute entry: Judge Brinkema. Reporter: McCoy; matter on for hrg. on defts.' motions; appearances: of counsel; defts.' motion to dismiss - not ruled on; defts.' motion to transfer case - argued(perfunctorily granted), final ruling held in abeyance, U.S .has ten days to get a proper cert. w/appropriate language; counsel to meet w/LMB in chambers on 5-15-96 @ 9:00 for settlement conf. (clerk) (Entered: 05/14/1996)

May 10, 1996

May 10, 1996

13

ORDER granting motion for pro hac vice admission of Thomas B. York - entered and filed in open court ( signed by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ) Copies Mailed: yes (clerk) (Entered: 05/14/1996)

May 10, 1996

May 10, 1996

14

ORDER For the reasons stated in open court, pltf's motion to consolidate cases 96-283- and 96-284 is denied. Deft's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(1) is granted and it is hereby ordered that pltf file an amended certification within 10 days of the issuance of this order. This ruling is stayed to allow for settlement efforts. Defts motion for a more definite statement is denied. Because of intense settlement efforts, all discovery is stayed until further order of the court. Entered and Filed [5-1] ( signed by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ) Copies Mailed: yes (clerk) (Entered: 05/28/1996)

May 21, 1996

May 21, 1996

15

Settlement Agreement-filed (clerk) Modified on 07/19/1996 (Entered: 07/18/1996)

July 18, 1996

July 18, 1996

16

ORDER in light of the Settlement Agreement entered by the parties, this civil action is dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2)-ent.& filed ( signed by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ) Copies Mailed: y (clerk) (Entered: 07/18/1996)

July 18, 1996

July 18, 1996

CASE assigned to Judge Leonie M. Brinkema (clerk) (Entered: 07/19/1996)

July 18, 1996

July 18, 1996

Case closed (clerk) (Entered: 07/19/1996)

July 18, 1996

July 18, 1996

17

Modification of Settlement Agreement by United States of, Commonwealth of VA (clerk) Modified on 06/09/1997 (Entered: 06/02/1997)

May 30, 1997

May 30, 1997

So Ordered: granting [17-1] set ( signed by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ) Copies Mailed: yes (clerk) (Entered: 06/05/1997)

June 3, 1997

June 3, 1997

18

Second Modification of Settlement Agreement filed by plaintiff United States of, defendant Commonwealth of VA (clerk) (Entered: 06/12/1997)

June 10, 1997

June 10, 1997

19

NOTICE for Certification Tour by Commonwealth of VA (ltun) (Entered: 09/04/1997)

Aug. 29, 1997

Aug. 29, 1997

20

MOTION by Commonwealth of VA, United States of to Dismiss , and by Commonwealth of VA, United States of Ame Stipulation of Dismissal (clerk) (Entered: 06/03/1998)

June 2, 1998

June 2, 1998

So Ordered: granting [20-1] motion by Commonwealth of VA, United States of to Dismiss, granting [20-2] motion by Commonwealth of VA, United States of Ame Stipulation of Dismissal.-ent. & filed. ( signed by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema ) Copies Mailed: yes (clerk) (Entered: 06/04/1998)

June 3, 1998

June 3, 1998

Case Details

State / Territory: Virginia

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 4, 1996

Closing Date: June 3, 1998

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Northern Virginia Training Center (Fairfax), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

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

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

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

Social Security (Title XX), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1397 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Voluntary Dismissal

Order Duration: 1996 - 1998

Issues

General:

Confinement/isolation

Fire safety

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Individualized planning

Neglect by staff

Reassessment and care planning

Record-keeping

Restraints : chemical

Restraints : physical

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Mental Disability:

Developmental disability without intellectual disability

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run