Six people with disabilities who are unnecessarily institutionalized in nursing facilities, joined by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, filed this class action lawsuit in federal district court in Boston asserting that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is violating the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and the Medicaid Act, and this violation disproportionately impacts people of color.
Plaintiff John Simmons is a Black man with a medical and psychiatric disability who has unwillingly spent the past three years in a nursing facility in Everett. He is determined to move back to an apartment with supports in Boston. Plaintiff Lorraine Simpson, a Black woman originally from Jamaica, has been kept in a nursing facility in Worcester because she was homeless and denied residential services in Worcester County.
Their complaint claims that Governor Charlie Baker and other state officials have failed to provide community residential services and supports, and this failure has forced thousands of people with disabilities to live in segregated nursing facilities rather than in the community.