Olmstead Settlement Agreement

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In August 2013, the parties followed a two-year interim regime that required the state to begin developing municipal alternatives to health care facilities. During this period, the parties negotiated at length a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues. The dispute resumed in October 2015, after the failure of settlement negotiations and the expiry of the interim agreement. In May 2016, the Tribunal rejected the state`s requests to dismiss the appeal and granted the new application for class certification by private applicants. The United States had filed a letter in support of the applicants` request asking the court to clarify the common rights of more than 4,000 mentally disabled and developmental persons “who are currently or in the future in care facilities or who will be or should be inspected for admission.” The parties are now at an early stage of discovery. Since then, representatives of a group of people who live and wish to remain in these state institutions have appealed the Court`s decision authorizing the settlement agreement to the Third District Court of Appeal. (Benjamin et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, et al., 11-3684, 11-3685 (3d Cir.)). They argue that the facilitation given to class members will affect their ability to stay in institutions. They also argue that the transaction agreement should not have been approved because it assumes that institutionalized persons who are unable to express a preference for their mediations may, if necessary, be transferred to community services. Class members and defendants from Pennsylvania filed a joint letter against these arguments on April 3, 2012. Shortly thereafter, the United States filed an amicus curiae letter supporting the agreement.

We argued that the transaction agreement was fair and reasonable. We also stated that, because federal law strongly favours the integration of persons with disabilities into the community in relation to segregation in large institutions, community services should be provided to an institutionalized person who can live in the Community but who cannot express a preference for accommodation and has no guardian or family member involved. U.S. V. North Carolina – No.