SIMMONS V. HEALEY: An ADA Class Action Seeking to Compel Massachusetts to Stop the Unnecessary Institutionalization of People with Disabilities
Some of the Honoring Choices Partners assist adults with disabilities who are currently living in long term care facilities. For adults on Mass Health, the concern arose for those adults who would prefer to live in the community with supports rather than nursing facilities, and are not able to do so.
On October 11, 2022, the Center for Public Representation (CPR), a national disability rights law firm in Easthampton, Massachusetts; Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), a local legal services program; Justice in Aging, a national advocacy organization for older adults; and the private law firm of Foley Hoag, LLP filed a class action in federal court against the Commonwealth on behalf of seven people with disabilities unnecessarily institutionalized in nursing facilities and the Massachusetts Senior Action Council.
The lawsuit alleges that the Commonwealth violates the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and the Medicaid Act by failing to provide community residential services and supports, thus forcing thousands of people with disabilities to live in segregated nursing facilities rather than in the community. This class action on behalf of nursing facility residents on MassHealth who have been stuck in a nursing facility for 60 days or more seeks to compel the Commonwealth to expand its existing residential programs so that people with disabilities in nursing facilities can make informed choices and have meaningful options to live successfully in the community.
If you have any questions, or if you know someone in this situation who might benefit from the lawsuit, you can contact:
Center for Public Representation at (413-586-6024) or GBLS (617-603-1576);
Betsey Crimmins at GBLS — email@example.com
Deb Filler at GBLS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Kaplan at CPR – email@example.com