Salazar v. District of Columbia
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
560 F. Supp. 2d 6 (2008)
In 1999, the parties of a class-action suit crafted a settlement order that was focused on improving healthcare for low-income children in the District of Columbia (D.C.) (defendant). Paragraph 36 of the settlement order provided that D.C. (defendant) would provide any early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment (EPSDT) services prescribed for a child. Paragraph 80 specified that before a party could request the court to enforce the obligation in paragraph 36, it must give the other party 10 days’ notice and, during the 10-day period, negotiate in good faith to try resolving the dispute without seeking a decision from the court. For claims involving other provisions of the settlement order, such as claims involving delayed application processing, the settlement order required class members to use the administrative fair-hearing process instead of court. NHB was a class member and a child with autism. NHB had been prescribed and was receiving applied-behavioral-analysis (ABA) therapy for autism under D.C.’s EPSDT program under Medicaid. After the federal government concluded that ABA therapy was not covered by the Medicaid statute, D.C.’s Medicaid program stopped providing the therapy to NHB. Oscar Salazar and other class representatives (collectively, Salazar) plaintiffs), on behalf of NHB, filed a motion to compel the provision of EPSDT services to NHB. In the memorandum opinion and order issued September 6, 2005 (2005 order), the court denied Salazar’s motion. The court’s reasoning was primarily based on the conclusion that Salazar’s motion presented an individual claim for EPSDT services rather than a challenge to a systemic issue covered by the settlement order. Subsequently, Salazar filed a motion for reconsideration of the 2005 order.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kessler, J.)
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