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Sutherland Settles Disabled Rights Case Against the State of Georgia

July 7, 2006

ATLANTA (July 7, 2006) – On June 28, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP favorably settled Birdsong v. Perdue, a case filed against the state of Georgia in 2003 on behalf of seven disabled individuals who received, or were going to receive, Medicaid long-term care services in nursing facilities rather than in their own homes.

The litigation alleged that this treatment violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which states that unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities is considered discrimination. 

The case was settled by reaching an agreement to create more opportunities and funding for disabled people who wish to live in their own homes and communities.  The agreement calls for significant changes in home health care in Georgia, including reducing waiting lists for community-based services and allocating $4.3 million to accommodate 1,000 people in these programs over the next year.  Officials for the Department of Community Health plan to continue to work towards additional improvements as well.

"We are pleased that the state has taken steps to increase funding and support for long-term care in home and community-based settings," said Charles T. Lester, Jr., who represented the seven plaintiffs.  "People are happier and healthier when they receive long-term care in the most integrated setting possible.  In most cases, it's also less expensive to serve them there, making this a true win-win settlement."
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 425 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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