Michele Haddad’s Story: The Olmstead Decision in Action

Posted by Pam Blanton on July 27, 2010

July 14th, 2010 posting by Tracy Russo reprinted from The Justice Blog

On September 7, 2007, Michele Haddad was riding on one of the more than seven million motorcycles registered in the United States when an accident with a drunk driver caused a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed.  During four months in the hospital and in the years since, Michele Haddad, 49-year old mother of two grown sons, has undergone a series of surgeries. She had quadriplegia and regained some use of her arms but not of her hands; she has no vocal cord on the left side.

With the support of family and friends, Ms. Haddad had been able to remain in her community in Jacksonville, Fla., something that has kept her going since the accident.  She needs help with the basic daily activities most of us take for granted – bathing, dressing and eating, for example.  A change in her caregiver situation in March 2010 left her in need of community-based services, and she immediately notified the State of this need. She had been on the State’s waiting list for services since November 2007.

Ms. Haddad was informed by the State of Florida that she could receive community services if she would first enter an institutional setting for 60 days.  Florida effectively required institutionalization as a prerequisite to receiving community services, despite the fact that the cost of community-based care for her would be less than the cost of care in a nursing home.

It would be devastating to Ms. Haddad to be forced into a nursing home away from her family and friends. That is why Ms. Haddad filed suit against the State for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.   READ MORE

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