Federal Appeals Court Affirms Minnesota District Court’s Authority to Order State to Comply with Landmark Settlement Benefitting People with Disabilities

In 2011, O'Meara Leer Wagner & Kohl negotiated a landmark class action settlement with the State of Minnesota on behalf of people with disabilities across the state. In the Settlement, the State agreed to create an Olmstead Plan, eliminate the use of physical and chemical restraints and seclusion, close state facilities that were utilizing abusive practices, and provide training to State employees. The Court approved the Settlement and ordered the State to implement its terms, while retaining jurisdiction to ensure the State's compliance with the Settlement.

In 2017, after years of submission to the Court's authority, the State initiated a challenge to the Court's ongoing jurisdiction, seeking to dismiss the case before it had properly complied with the terms of the Settlement. The Court denied the challenge and the State appealed the decision.

On July 26, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the State's appeal, ruling the District Court properly retained authority over the State to review its compliance with the Settlement.  Read more here and review the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision here.