Federal Judge Ellen Huvelle denied a motion to dismiss a class-action suit that was brought on behalf of nearly 3,000 nursing home residents in Washington, D.C.
The plaintiffs’ class action nursing home lawsuit is not a classic personal injury claim. Instead, the suit alleges that approximately 3,000 city residents with disabilities are institutionalized in nursing homes when they don’t have to be, because they have the ability to live independently if provided information about and access to home- and community-based services. The lawsuit is not asking for the stars and the moon. The suit simply seeks to order the city to provide these services and inform residents of their rights and choices.
The judge rejected the District’s claim that it has complied with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing services to nursing home patients who want to live in the community. The ADA requires states and local governments to make their best effort to provide services to people with disabilities in an integrated setting.
I write about nursing home negligence and abuse on this blog. This is, on one level, a totally different issue. But they stem from the same disease: a difficulty some have in treating our elderly and vulnerable with fairness and decency. This lawsuit is about giving a voice to people that are not given a loud enough voice in our culture.
You can read more about the plaintiffs’ victory here.