Intellectually Disabled Suing State Granted Class Action Status

A group of intellectually-disabled people has decided to sue Texas, accusing the state of routinely warehousing them in nursing homes without evaluating whether they were capable of living in the community.

In one instance, it took almost 40 years for one man to finally have the opportunity to live in a community home, even though he is able to read, write and drive.

In another case, a 29-year-old woman died after she was left in a bed in a nursing home for 165 hours a week.

Advocates for the intellectually-disabled –a condition affecting reasoning and learning –says Texas is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws by denying services that could allow for more than 4,000 people to live in the community.

The state denies these claims, saying it is committed to providing them with the highest quality of service.

Back in 2013, the state and lawyers for the disabled reached an interim settlement agreement that in part called for Texas to expand community services and create a service team for each disabled person. In return, the suit was put aside for two years.

However, without any explanation, the agreement ended in 2015. Confidentiality rules prevent either side from commenting on why this happened. The lawsuit has since been reactivated.

A federal judge in San Antonio granted class-action status to include more than 4,000 intellectually-disabled people in nursing homes.

Monetary compensation is not being sought, but rather the group of intellectually-disabled is simply asking that the state comply with the federal laws that are already set in place.

Texas has been ranked in the bottom one-third of states for the comprehensiveness of evaluations conducted on intellectually-disabled patients, according to a federal report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year.

If you or someone you love has been mistreated in a nursing home, The Carlson Law Firm can help. Contact us today, we are a team of caring and experienced professionals.


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