A settlement was reached in a case brought by a team of Drinker Biddle & Reath lawyers from the Washington and Philadelphia offices in partnership with a team of lawyers from the National Center for Law and Economic Justice to represent a class of blind and seriously visually impaired individuals. The class sued the New York City Human Resources Administration, the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, the New York State Department of Health, and the Commissioners of these agencies for being denied their right to receive Medicaid and Food Stamps benefits information in formats that are accessible to them. See Rafferty v. Doar, No. 13-cv-1410 (S.D.N.Y.).
Lawyers from Drinker Biddle along with lawyers from the Texas Fair Defense, the University of Texas Civil Rights Clinic, and the Susman Godfrey firm in Houston, Texas brought a class action against the City of Austin in a case styled Gonzales v. Salazarasserting that its practice of incarcerating individuals for failure to pay their debts for fines and fees for petty misdemeanors, such as traffic tickets, without legal representation was unconstitutional in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions which protected their rights to counsel, due process, and equal protection. This case is the largest case to date of similar cases brought throughout the United States attacking similar practices by other jurisdictions. These suits have attracted media attention, including suits in the New York Times that appear here. An additional article can be found here.
A team of Drinker Biddle & Reath lawyers from the Washington and Philadelphia offices in partnership with the DC Prisoners’ Project of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs are investigating a possible lawsuit and other actions to be taken against state and federal government agencies relating to their treatment of residents of government and privately-run halfway houses. In particular, the team is investigating various constitutional violations including due process, equal protection, and cruel and unusual punishment, and will likely seek damages and injunctive relief in the eventual lawsuit.