Judge grants class-action lawsuit in Ohio disability lawsuit

COLUMBUS (AP) — A federal judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit brought on behalf of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The lawsuit alleges such individuals experience segregation when forced to receive services from institutions due to fewer community- or home-based options.

The ruling by federal Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. last week expands the lawsuit to potentially thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disability Rights Ohio sued Ohio in 2016 on behalf of six people the group says are, or are at risk of being, “needlessly institutionalized” because of barriers to more integrated residential, employment or day services.

The state is fighting the lawsuit. A message was left with Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities seeking comment.