Benjamin v. PA Dep't of Pub. Welfare, No. 11-3684 (3d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Named plaintiffs are five individuals with mental retardation who are institutionalized in intermediate care facilities (ICFs/MR) operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare; they allege violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act by failing “to offer and provide the opportunity to receive services in integrated, community settings that are most appropriate settings to meet their needs. Plaintiffs claimed that there are approximately 1,272 individuals who reside in five ICFs/MR. The district court certified the class, denied a motion to dismiss, denied a motion to intervene brought by nine institutionalized individuals who oppose community placement, and granted final approval to a settlement agreement. The Third Circuit vacated in part, holding that the court abused its discretion by denying intervention as of right pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) in the remedy stage of this litigation as well as with respect to final approval of the settlement agreement. The intervenors may also challenge certification of the class.