December 2015

Landmark Pro Bono Class Action Settlement Yields Significant Results

North America - United States | United States - New York

Our firm, in conjunction with the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ), achieved a landmark settlement in a public interest matter. The work was conducted as part of the firm’s Barbara McDowell High Impact Pro Bono Initiative.

The settlement required New York City and State agencies to begin providing information about Food Stamps and Medicaid in a variety of alternate formats accessible to low-income persons who are blind or visually impaired. The City and State agencies’ previous failure to provide independent and meaningful access to this information imposed significant hardships upon some of New York City’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Consent Decree approved by the court followed lengthy and complex negotiations with the New York City Human Resources Administration, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), and the New York State Department of Health (DOH). As part of the Decree, NCLEJ now receives quarterly reporting from the City and State agencies listing the numbers of individuals in the plaintiff class making alternate format requests, and the types of formats they request to access public benefit documents. Rafferty, No. 13-1410, slip op. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 11, 2015)

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