Settlement of Mississippi Olmstead Lawsuit
Thousands of disabled people in Mississippi could soon have more opportunities to live on their own instead of in nursing homes and other institutions.
Settlement of a federal Olmstead lawsuit against the state Department of Rehabilitation Services and Medicaid, brought in 2002 by people with disabilities, could be finalized as early as next week. The suit is one of dozens nationwide claiming states discriminated against disabled people by isolating them in institutions instead of trying to help them live on their own. The lawsuits are based on the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision from a Georgia case, which ruled that isolation of people with disabilities is discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Mississippi, which has about 18,000 people in nursing homes, is continually ranked one of the worst for putting people in institutions instead of helping them live independently.