D.D.C. Issues Important Olmstead Decision
Yesterday, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling denying the defendant's motion to dismiss or for summary judgment in Day v. District of Columbia, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2012 WL 456491 (D.D.C., Feb. 14, 2012). The case was brought by five individuals with physical disabilities who receive Medicaid services in private nursing homes in D.C. but who wish to receive services in the community. They seek to represent a class, though no motion for class certification was yet before the court. The District of Columbia moved to dismiss or for summary judgment, and the court denied that motion. Among the court's significant (though not, I should say, unprecedented) rulings: (1) Olmstead applies to cases involving people who receive Medicaid services in private nursing homes; (2) Olmstead can require a state to provide services to an individual in the community even in the absence of a determination by the state's own treatment professionals that community-based treatment is appropriate; (3) to make out an Olmstead claim, a plaintiff does not need to allege that providing her services in the community would be cheaper than providing her services in a nursing facility; and (4) to establish a fundamental alteration defense, the state must show at a minimum that it has a plan that "demonstrates a measurable commitment to deinstitutionalization." Also notable is the court's extensive reliance on and reference to the Department of Justice's technical assistance document on Olmstead.