Firm News & Announcements

Bread for the City to Dismiss Lawsuit against District of Columbia, Celebrates Victory for Area Patients

Washington, D.C. – August 04, 2006: Bread for the City and 11 individual Washington, D.C. residents who filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia to stop the District's most vulnerable and in need from losing critical Medicaid benefits announced today they will soon dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice. The lawsuit, filed by Crowell & Moring LLP on June 29, had aimed to enjoin the District from applying new requirements prompted by the federal government that could arbitrarily terminate Medicaid benefits for thousands of U.S. citizens in the District who cannot produce specific forms of paperwork to prove their birth in the country.

The positive development was made possible by new rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that exempt approximately eight million seniors and people with disabilities in Medicaid from new citizenship verification requirements. Additionally, the District's new draft of internal guidance to its staff members regarding implementation of the rule incorporated and clarified these changes. As a result, 10 of the 11 named plaintiffs, as well as many of the District's most vulnerable Medicaid recipients, will be wholly spared from having to meet the onerous requirements of the initial rule. It also appears that the rule will have no immediate negative effect on the 11th named plaintiff, though its future effect remains unclear.

“We are pleased that both the District and CMS did the right thing in taking steps to protect our most needy and vulnerable in the community. This lawsuit was about protecting patients, and recent developments have gone a long way toward doing that,” said Arthur N. Lerner, lead Crowell & Moring attorney for the case.

The Bread for the City lawsuit was a pro bono effort that involved cooperation and input from several area nursing homes, guardians, and patients, including IONA Senior Services. Instrumental in coordinating the effort was the District Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA), a health action organization serving medically vulnerable residents. Its members include safety net medical providers, health care and community organizations, health professionals and individuals.

The Crowell & Moring pro bono legal team that filed the lawsuit includes co-lead counsel Clifton S. Elgarten and Arthur N. Lerner, along with Barry M. Parsons, Michael W. Paddock, Michael J. Goecke, and Portia R. Brown.

Bread for the City is a private, non-profit charitable organization that provides vulnerable residents of Washington, D.C. with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, legal, and social. Through the efforts of more than 500 volunteers and the contribution of thousands of community members, the organization provides free services to over 10,000 people each month. Visit Bread for the City online at

Crowell & Moring LLP is a full-service law firm with approximately 300 lawyers practicing in litigation, antitrust, government contracts, corporate, intellectual property and more than 40 other practice areas. More than two-thirds of the firm's lawyers regularly litigate disputes on behalf of international corporations, start-up businesses, and individuals. Crowell & Moring's extensive client work ranges from advising on one of the world's largest telecommunications mergers to founding the nation's leading victims of terrorism practice. Based in Washington, D.C., the firm has offices in Brussels, California and London.


Phill McGowan
Director of PR, Media and Communication
+1 202.508.8835

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