METO attorney, families to be honored March 7

Shamus O’Meara and the plaintiffs in the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO) lawsuit will be the honored guests at The Arc Minnesota’s 2012 Public Policy Recognition Event. The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 at the Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham Street in Roseville.

Attorney Shamus O’Meara served as settlement class counsel for a landmark decision against METO in June 2011, and three families served as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the facility. On December 1, 2011, O’Meara and the plaintiff families finalized a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Human Services on behalf of several hundred Minnesotans with disabilities who were restrained or secluded illegally at METO.

The agreement immediately discontinued restraints and seclusion, except for true emergency situations, and provided a financial settlement for those mistreated and abused at METO. The agreement also ordered creation of a commission based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, as well as a committee to review Rule 40, the Minnesota rule on the use of aversive and deprivations procedures against people with disabilities. The goal of the commission and the committee is to develop a statewide plan so all Minnesotans with disabilities have opportunities to live in the community and be free from abuse.

“Because of their commitment to see justice done and ensure that people with disabilities will not be subjected to the same cruel and inhumane treatment again, O’Meara and the plaintiff families have done Minnesotans with disabilities a tremendous service,” said Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota’s Senior Policy Director. “Their advocacy will dramatically improve treatment for all Minnesotans with disabilities. We are proud to honor them.”

Tickets for the event are $50 per person. Register and pay online at www.arcmn.org. Please RSVP by Feb. 24. FFI: Sara Larson at 651-604-8050 or saral@arcmn.org