First Circuit Finds Plaintiffs Are Eligible for Attorney’s Fees

November 3, 2020

In this longstanding Medicaid EPSDT case brought on behalf of approximately 30,000 children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), 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.

Read more about the Rosie D. case on its dedicated website.