University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Tassinari v. Salvation Army National Corporation DR-MA-0009
Docket / Court 1:21-cv-10806 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On May 14, 2021, plaintiffs filed this class action suit against the Salvation Army National Corporation for discriminating against individuals with disabilities who use doctor-prescribed medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The plaintiffs have a history of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and have used ... read more >
On May 14, 2021, plaintiffs filed this class action suit against the Salvation Army National Corporation for discriminating against individuals with disabilities who use doctor-prescribed medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The plaintiffs have a history of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and have used MAT as part of their treatment regime. MAT, which the plaintiffs stated is the medically-recognized standard of care for treating OUD, combines therapeutic interventions with a doctor’s prescription for medications like methadone to help people with OUD overcome their cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. The United States Food and Drug administration has approved the use of drugs like methadone for treating opioid dependence.

The plaintiffs alleged that, beginning in April 2018, the Salvation Army instituted a nationwide policy barring individuals who use MAT from enrolling in its Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Programs (ARCs). Two named plaintiffs were expelled from participating in a Salvation Army ARC after the organization discovered they were prescribed MAT. A third plaintiff left the program early after experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms due to being denied access to MAT. A fourth plaintiff continued taking prescribed medication without detection by Salvation Army and completed the ARC program.

ARCs provide housing and basic living necessities to individuals with substance abuse disorders for a period of six months. Participants are required to live on site, maintain their sobriety, attend church, and work full-time for Salvation Army thrift stores without pay. The Salvation Army owns and operates over a hundred ARCs throughout the US, and subordinate territories of the Salvation Army also operate multiple ARCS. The Salvation Army actively solicits courts, jails, probation departments, and other state and local agencies to send individuals with substance abuse disorders to ARCs for treatment, and, for some individuals, an ARC is their only option for rehabilitative treatment.

In their first complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and sought damages and injunctive relief on behalf of themselves and similarly situated class members. The case was assigned to District Judge Leo T. Sorokin. On August 2, 2021, Defendants filed motions to dismiss. On August 23, 2021, Plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint. In the amended complaint, Plaintiffs added a third count alleging that the Salvation Army violated the Fair Housing Act by expelling and denying housing to individuals with OUD for using MAT.

After Plaintiffs amended their complaint, on September 1, 2021, Judge Sorokin issued an order terminating Defendants' previous Motions to Dismiss as moot. On September 21, 2021, Defendants filed renewed motions to dismiss.

The case is ongoing.

Gabrielle Simeck - 09/19/2021


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Disability
disability, unspecified
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Housing
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Rehabilitation
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Depression
Learning disability
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) The Salvation Army National Corporation
Plaintiff Description Individuals with opioid use disorder who use or have used medication-assisted treatment.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 05/14/2021
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Mass.
09/19/2021
1:21-cv-10806-LTS
DR-MA-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Mass.
08/23/2021
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 30]
DR-MA-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sorokin, Leo Theodore (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bansal, Lucy Brierly (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-0001 | DR-MA-0009-9000
Elga, Benjamin (New York) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-0001 | DR-MA-0009-9000
Herold, Janet M (New York) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-0001 | DR-MA-0009-9000
Lafferty, Martha M. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-0001 | DR-MA-0009-9000
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-0001 | DR-MA-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gies, Thomas P (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-9000
Hawes, Christine B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-9000
Hensley, Kevin M (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
DR-MA-0009-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -