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History of Jackson v. Los Lunas

Welcome to the Quality Management Bureau Individual Quality Review website (this page was previously located on the jacksoncommunityreview.org webpage).

Effective July 1, 2020 the NM DOH Division of Health Improvement / Quality Management Bureau’s Individual Quality Review (IQR) Unit will independently administer this survey process with the assistance of contracted and internal case judges.

The IQR specifically conducts quality and compliance survey of individuals identified as Jackson Class Members. IQR Surveyors conduct an extensive individual review of the quality of services received by the Jackson Class Member through interviews, observations and record reviews. The IQR surveyors work diligently to determine if Individual’s health related needs are being meet, as well as ensuring that Individual Service Plans are being implemented as required. The IQR Survey team works closely with other State partners to ensure the quality of services and the health and safety of all Jackson Class Members.

The intent of this website is to provide you with resources related to the IQR practices including: an overview of the class action lawsuit, the current status of the lawsuit, as well as the yearly survey calendar, IQR survey tools (aka protocol books), regional reports for current and past IQR surveys and yearly Statewide reports. These survey tools are posted in the spirit of transparency and providers are encouraged to download the survey tools as a guide to understanding what the IQR survey tools entail.

This website will be updated with regional reports after completion of the regional surveys, as well as when there are the changes in the tools.

Case History of Jackson v. Los Lunas

State: New Mexico

RE: People with Developmental Disabilities

CIV No. 87-0839-JP/LCS

  • Informal Case Name: Jackson V. Los Lunas
  • Walter Stephen Jackson, et al., Plaintiffs v. Los Lunas Hospital and Training School, Defendants
  • The Arc of New Mexico, Intervenor
  • Year Filed: 1987
  • Number of Class Members (2004): 411
  • Joint Stipulation on Disengagement entered: December 1997. The Stipulation and Plan were entered as a remedial order of the federal court.
  • Contempt Motions filed: 1996, 2004

Background

In July 1987, the parents and guardians of twenty-one people with developmental disabilities filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Department of Health, the Human Services Department, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and several state officials. The case was brought to correct unconstitutional conditions at the two state institutions for people with developmental disabilities and to remedy violations of the Rehabilitation Act which subjected people with severe disabilities to discrimination and unnecessary segregation. After the trial, the federal court held that the defendants were violating the rights of the plaintiff class by discriminating against people with severe disabilities, by unnecessarily segregating them and by subjecting them to institutional conditions which were unconstitutional in eighteen discrete areas. The court ordered the parties to negotiate corrective action plans to correct the identified violations. See Jackson v. Fort Stanton, 757 F.Supp. 1243 (D.N.M. 1990).

The parties cooperatively developed plans for the eighteen institutional deficiencies, and for establishing adequate infrastructure for the community-based developmental disability service system. For the next five years, the defendants attempted unsuccessfully to correct the deficiencies at the institutions, and to transfer to the community those people whose treatment teams decided that their continued institutionalization was unnecessary. After those efforts, many of the identified deficiencies in the institution had not been corrected. In 1996, plaintiffs filed a motion to hold the defendants in contempt of court, alleging ongoing abuse, neglect, and lack of professionally adequate care at the institutions and the on-going unnecessary segregation of class members.

In response to the motion, the defendants decided to close the institutions. However, the defendants recognized that the community service system would need major improvements in order to adequately serve the people with severe disabilities who were still in the institutions. Accordingly, the defendants agreed to implement a detailed Plan of Action to improve the infrastructure for the community-based service system, and also signed a Joint Stipulation on Disengagement that established the criteria and process for ending the lawsuit. The Stipulation required the appointment of a Community Monitor to conduct annual audits of services to class members, and to report upon the status of compliance with the Stipulation. The defendants retained consultants jointly selected by the parties, including an Internal Compliance Monitor, to assist them in implementing the Plan of Action. The Stipulation and Plan were entered as a remedial order of the federal court in December 1997.

Current Status

On January 23, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Jackson v. Los Lunas Community Programs, 880 F.3d 1176 (10th Cir. 2018) instructing the District Court to determine if there were ongoing violations of federal law, and if not, whether the Defendants had created a durable remedy to ensure that prior federal law violations would not re­ occur. The Tenth Circuit further instructed that, if a durable remedy was created, the District Court is to decide whether it would be equitable for the Court to dismiss this litigation in its entirety.

On April 2, 2018, the Defendants filed a Supplement (ECF No. 2188) to their Motion to Terminate All Remaining Orders in Jackson et al v. FSH & TS (ECF No. 2053). The parties have conducted fact discovery related to that Motion and Supplement and determined that the most efficient and appropriate resolution of the Motion and this litigation is to enter a Settlement Agreement to Resolve the Litigation (Settlement Agreement). This Settlement Agreement sets forth the actions which the Defendants must take in order to terminate the litigation. Except as to the court orders listed in Section II, ¶ 5(11) below, this Settlement Agreement replaces all existing orders of the Court and will be the sole source of Defendants' remaining obligations to class members during the Term of this Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement applies only to the class members as defined Section II, ¶ 5(11).

  • Case 1:87-cv-00839-JAP-KBM Document 2289-1 Filed 04/17/19

In April 2019 the Parties entered into the Jackson Settlement Agreement. The purpose and intent of this Settlement Agreement is to identify those services, safeguards, and protections from harm that will be provided to the plaintiff class and to ensure that a durable remedy is in place when this litigation ends and the case is dismissed. The Plaintiffs and Defendants entered into this Settlement Agreement to memorialize a resolution that allows the Court to conclusively end this litigation and terminate all orders and decrees relating to this matter with a durable remedy in place.