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Legal Specialties for Children and Adults with Disabilities and Their Families

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NEWS RELEASE

July 30, 2009

FEDERAL CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED ON FUNDING FOR MEDICALLY FRAGILE DISABLED PERSONS

Contact: Robert H. Farley, Jr.
Attorney for Sean Dakota Stout
630-248-4880 (cell)

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr., of Naperville, Illinois has filed a Federal Class Action Lawsuit against the State of Illinois due to is failure to change its policy and practice of reducing funding by approximately 50% for medically fragile disabled persons when they turn 21 years of age.

The Plaintiff, Sean Dakota Stout, is a medically fragile disabled person who is on a ventilator and currently receives funding from the Defendant for 24 hours a day nursing level of care at his home at a cost of approximately $20,000 per month, so that he does not have to be institutionalized or hospitalized his entire life at a rate of approximately $55,000 per month.

Sean's funding from the Defendant comes from the State of Illinois "Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver for Children that are Medically Fragile, Technology Dependent" program. (MF/TD)

Sean's enrollment in the MF/TD program is only available to persons under the age of 21 and Sean will turn 21 on September 18, 2009. When Sean or any disabled person turns 21 in the MF/TD program, the Defendant's policy and practice is to reduce the existing medical funding by approximately 50% based solely on the fact that the person is now 21. The reduction in funding is not due to a change in Sean's medical needs but on the fact that Sean's funding at age 21 comes from a different State program, which has significant caps on funding. The reduction in funding will either result in Sean becoming institutionalized (hospitalized) or if he remains in his family home without sufficient skilled nursing care, then he faces a strong possibility of imminent death.

Prior to the filing of this lawsuit by Sean, the State of Illinois has been successfully challenged by individual plaintiffs in every lawsuit over its practice and policy of reducing medical funding which results in a reduction of medical services when the disabled person turns 21 years of age. Despite the fact that the State of Illinois has not prevailed to provide reduce medical funding in 5 separate federal and state lawsuits brought by similarly situated persons like the Plaintiff who were turning 21 and aging out of the MF/TD program, the State continues the same practice to date to reduce medical funding at age 21 as evidence by Sean's case. Accordingly, Sean brings this lawsuit, individually and on behalf of a class, seeking injunctive relief to prevent the State of Illinois from reducing the level of medical care currently provided to Sean and the class, which are necessary to prevent institutionalization (hospitalization), which is a more costly and a more restrictive setting than the current home placement.

This class action lawsuit is necessary in order to stop the State of Illinois from continuing to systematically violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act for persons aging out of the "MF/TD" program. (See prior successful litigation by plaintiffs against the State of Illinois over the "MF/TD" program where the State was required to continue to fund the same level of medical services which existed prior to the age of 21 years: Radaszewski v. Maram, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24923 (N.D. Ill.)(March 26, 2008); Grooms v. Maram, 563 F.Supp.2d 840 (N.D.Ill. 2008); Jones v. Maram, 373 Ill.App.3d 184 (3rd Dist. 2007); Sidell v. Maram, 05 cv 1001 (C.D. Ill.)(January 14, 2009); and Fisher v. Maram, 06 C 4405 (N.D. Ill.)(January 8, 2009)).

ROBERT H. FARLEY, JR.
Attorney at Law
1155 S. Washington St.
Suite 201
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: 630-369-0103
Fax: 630-369-0195
email: farleylaw@aol.com
www.farley1.com

Click here to read the full text of the lawsuit.

If you have questions concerning the above release or the formal compaint, please contact us.