Rosie D. v. Romney

Class action case on behalf of 30,000 children with serious emotional disturbance (SED) seeking intensive home-based services, as required by the EPSDT provisions of the Medicaid Act.  The court certified a class and denied the State’s motion to dismiss (March 29, 2002).  Following a five-week trial in 2005, the Court entered a sweeping order finding the Commonwealth in violation of federal law for failing to provide home-based services and enters broad remedial relief.  The Rosie D. Remedial Plan, finalized in July 2007, led to the overhaul of the State’s Medicaid system for children.  It calls for a system of coordinated services, including home-based services for Medicaid-eligible children with SED.  The Commonwealth created the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative under the State’s Medicaid MassHealth Office to administer the remedial services.  The services were implemented in the summer of 2009.   A court monitor was appointed in the spring of 2007 to oversee the implementation of the Judgment.

After extensive efforts to reform the children’s mental health system and develop a program of home-based services, the State moved to terminate the Judgment.

In 2019 the District Court rejected the State’s claim that it had complied with the 2007 Judgment, and denied their motion to end all monitoring and reporting.  The State appealed. The First Circuit reversed and remanded, holding that the District Court had not properly modified the Judgment to extend the termination date for monitoring.  Rosie D. v. Baker, 958 F.3d 51 (1st Cir. 2020). 

Although the plaintiffs had not prevailed in the appeal, the Center and its co-counsel sought to recover substantial attorney’s fees and costs, arguing that they had an ethical duty to the class to defend the District Court’s favorable decision on appeal.  And because the plaintiffs had prevailed in the original case by obtaining a remedial order, they were entitled to fees for time spent ensuring compliance with that order.  In a significant but brief decision, the First Circuit agreed, holding that the plaintiffs were eligible for an award of attorney’s fees and costs.  It remanded the matter to the District Court for a determination of the appropriate amount of fees.

For a comprehensive description and library of all aspects of the litigation, implementation, and remedial services, click

CPR co-counseled this case with the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee and WilmerHale LLP.