Kelley v. Kent

DRC and co-counsel sue state for failure to provide needed services to keep married individuals with disabilities in their own homes

Kelley v. Kent

The State of California has failed to implement a provision of the ACA that requires Medi-Cal to implement eligibility rules intended to prevent one spouse from impoverishment while paying for at-home care for a spouse with a disability. On July 6, 2017 DRC with pro bono lead co-counsel McDermott Will & Emery and co-counsel Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Western Center on Law and Poverty, and Justice in Aging filed a class action suit in state court alleging violations of the federal Medicaid Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and other state laws resulting in the imminent risk for plaintiffs of institutionalization.

Case Name: PATRICK KELLEY and MATTHEW REED, by and through his guardian ad litem, VICKI REED, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. JENNIFER KENT, in her official capacity as Director of the California Department of Health Care Services and the CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES

Court and Case Number: Case No. BS 170173, Los Angeles Superior Court

Judge: Judge James C. Chalfant

Co-counsel: McDermott Will & Emery as pro-bono lead counsel; Bet Tzedek; Western Center on Law and Poverty; Justice in Aging

Significant Court Documents



Patrick Kelley is a 67-year-old veteran with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. First diagnosed almost 15 years ago, the disease has progressed and Mr. Kelley now has spastic quadriparesis and depends on assistance for all meals, bathing, grooming, and other essential activities. His 75 year-old wife is unable to fully care for him by herself, and the couple has exhausted their savings paying for caregivers.Matthew Reed is a 62-year-old man who suffered a stroke, and has multiple sclerosis, Bell’s Palsy, and vascular dementia, and cannot perform basic activities of daily living, such as preparing food or using the bathroom unassisted. Mr. Reed needs constant supervision to live safely at home, but his wife must keep her job working nights to pay rent and meet the couple’s basic needs.

News Release

Medi-Cal Recipients Sue California for Failing to Ensure Seniors and People with Disabilities Can Stay in Their Homes

News Coverage

California Lawsuit Aims To Protect Spouses Of Disabled From Financial Ruin