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Overview on Olmstead Decision

A. Describe what the fundamental issue(s) were that formed the basis of this case from the point of view of the plaintiffs. For this assignment, please discuss this in humanistic terms 'not legal technicalities, so that we may understand the dynamics that led L. C. and E. W. and their advocates to seek legal remedy in the first place.

b. Describe the appellate process that took place in this case. Include your comments as to why you think it went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Olmstead v. LC and EW is a landmark case because it reaffirms the right of the individual not to be discriminate and/ or be deprive from his fundamental rights under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this case the State failed "to afford them minimally adequate care and freedom from undue restraint" (Legal Institute of Information (LII), 1999, June 22, ¶2), by denying transfer to a State community-program once the treating professionals determined that such placement was appropriate and the individuals agreed (LII, 1999, June 22, ¶2). Discrimination, here, is defined as "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity" (LII, 2009, Jan 5).

L. C. and E. W. are the initials of two mentally retarded women with dual diagnosis; L. C. also had schizophrenia, and E. W. a personality disorder. Both women had been voluntarily admitted to Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta (GRH) for treatment in a psychiatric unit. The problem began after the doctors recommended that L.C. be moved to one of the Georgia State community based programs in May 1993 she remained institutionalized for the next 2 years. L.C. believed this to be an injustice and in 1995 filed a suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources (T. Olmstead), the Superintendent of GRH and the Executive Director of the Fulton County Regional Board (a.k.a. the State) (LII, 1999, June 22).

E.W. joined later the suit because she was experiencing a similar situation. The GRH sought to discharge her "to a homeless shelter, but abandoned that plan after her attorney filed an administrative complaint" (LII, 1999, June 22, Section II, ¶2) and although her physicians concluded that she could have follow up care in a community-based ...

Solution Summary

The solution gives background information on Olmstead including a discussion on what happened, the remedies involved, and how the Supreme Court decision influence the State compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).