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Zackery D. Lewis By His Next Friends; Richard Young v. Gary Alexander

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


August 23, 2011

ZACKERY D. LEWIS BY HIS NEXT FRIENDS; RICHARD YOUNG; LYNN G. HAINER, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ADDIE SMITH; SUSAN W. COLEMAN; KATHY A. BURGER; TRACY PALMER; KENNY
ATKINSON BY HIS NEXT FRIEND; BERNICE TATE BY HER NEXT FRIEND; MARY WAGNER; MICHAEL BIDZILYA BY HIS NEXT FRIEND; WILLIAM ALGAR BY HIS NEXT FRIEND; ANTHONY GALE BY HIS NEXT FRIENDS; THE ARC COMMUNITY TRUST OF PENNSYLVANIA; AND THE FAMILY TRUST, ON THEIR OWN BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GARY ALEXANDER, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; ERIC ROLLINS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ERIE COUNTY ASSISTANCE OFFICE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jan E. Dubois, J.

ORDER AND NOW, this 22nd day of August, 2011, upon consideration ofplaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification (Document No. 13, filed February 13, 2007); Defendants' Opposition to Motion to Class Certification (Document No. 29, filed March 22, 2008); Plaintiff's Reply to Defendants' Opposition (Document No. 40, filed May 14, 2008); and Defendants' Sur Reply (Doc. No. 44, filed June 12, 2008), for the reasons set forth in the attached Memorandum dated August 22, 2011, IT IS ORDERED as follows:

1. Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification (Document No. 13) is GRANTED;

2. The Court CERTIFIES the following plaintiff class pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2):

All disabled individuals who are, or who will become, eligible for Medical Assistance and for whom pooled special needs trust accounts that comply in all respects with the federal Medicaid Act were established on or after January 1, 2000, or will be established in the future, but who have been or will be denied Medical Assistance, or who are subject to termination of their Medical Assistance benefits, as a result of the application of Section 1414, as well as trustees of pooled special needs trusts holding such accounts and other persons acting in a representative capacity on behalf of such disabled individuals;

3. All of plaintiffs' claims, including their challenges to Section 1414 and their request for declaratory and injunctive relief, are subject to class treatment;

4. Plaintiffs Richard Young, Susan W. Coleman, and the ARC Community Trust of Pennsylvania are APPOINTED as class representatives; and

5. Stephen Feldman and Karen Guss are APPOINTED as counsel for the class pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g).

BY THE COURT:

Hon. Jan E. DuBois

20110823

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