Settlement reached over care for brain-injured patients

Patient in Hospital Bed

By MARK JEWELL Associated Press Writer

BOSTON- The state will help brain-injured patients move out of nursing homes and into communities under a proposed settlement to a lawsuit.

The agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield on Monday is subject to final approval from a judge.

Representatives of four brain-injured patients and the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts filed the lawsuit last year. They alleged the state violated federal disability law by failing to provide community services for people with brain injuries, leaving many trapped in nursing homes and institutions.

The plaintiffs say the proposed settlement will enable nearly 2,000 people statewide to move into community residences. The agreement would create two programs that are expected to result in at least 200 people per year leaving nursing homes.