Welcome to the Website for the Rekhter v. Washington Department of Social & Health Services Judgment
Update May 4, 2016
Checks to all qualifying Class Members have been issued and Gilardi is in the midst of contacting Class Members who have not yet negotiated their checks. If you received a notification regarding your uncashed check and you have the check, please cash it promptly. If you do not have the check and you need to request the check be reissued, please click the "Check Reissue" button above. For verification purposes, you will be required to enter your Claim ID and the last four numbers of your Social Security Number. Your Claim ID will be located on your uncashed check notification.
Update September 21, 2015
We are happy to inform you that the final steps have been completed and we are in the processing of issuing the checks. The checks will mail on September 25, 2015. At this time it is too late to update your address as the check file has been sent to the print vendor. If you have moved please file a forwarding order with the USPS and your check will be forwarded to your new address.
Update August 31, 2015
The final claims administration steps are almost complete. It look longer than expected to get the fund set up within the State of Washington for paying the employment taxes on the award. Gilardi has now received the unemployment tax rate last week and will be sending all the tax rates (State and federal) to the Department of Social and Health Services for review. Once reviewed, we will be requesting the amount needed from the Department of Social and Health Services for the employer share of the employment taxes. By law, Gilardi cannot disburse funds to class members until these steps are completed. Settlement payments will be disbursed from Gilardi within days of receiving the funds necessary to cover the employer share of the employment taxes.
Update August 7, 2015
The anticipated disbursement date for payments to class members is scheduled for August 31, 2015. Class members have been patiently waiting for payment, but it is incumbent upon the claims administrator to ensure class member awards are properly computed and accurate, including any applicable withholdings or deductions. The claims administration process requires several steps such as:
- Address verification for the over 26,000 class members;
- Notification to class members that Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”) had paid the judgment and the process of administering the funds had commenced;
- Website implementation and use of several different media types to inform class members of their rights to payment;
- Computation and verification of the gross amounts due to each class member based upon a pro rata distribution of the paid judgment;
- Processing numerous administrative orders to withhold and deliver, where DSHS is seeking reimbursement for monies owed by certain class members (this only applies to those certain identified class members);
- Computation and withholding of federal and State taxes applicable to the retroactive wage payments; and
- Payment by DSHS of the employer’s share of the employment taxes.
After receiving tax rates from the State of Washington and computing the appropriate tax withholdings, the claims administrator will send the amount of the employer’s share of the employment taxes to DSHS for payment. By law, the claims administrator must receive this tax payment from DSHS before disbursing funds. Then, after receipt of DSHS’ payment, the class member award checks will be mailed.
Please be assured that everything possible is being done to expedite disbursement of class member payments, while at the same time ensuring their accuracy. Soon after payment checks have been mailed or if there are any subsequent developments, this website will be promptly updated.
Gilardi & Co.
The judgment from this class action lawsuit stems from the Washington Department of Social and Health Services' (DSHS) implementation in 2003 of the Comprehensive Assessment and Reporting Evaluation (CARE) process. Part of the CARE process was the shared living rule, which automatically reduced assistance for in-home care by 15 percent for clients that live with their providers.
When DSHS reduced the authorized hours of support for a client pursuant to the shared living rule, it did not change or reduce the service plan's list of services the provider was required to perform. As a result, live-in providers were required by contract to perform necessary services without compensation. The structure of the agreements also resulted in DSHS requiring live-in providers to perform the same services as live-out providers for less compensation.
Several lawsuits regarding this matter were consolidated in 2009. In this class action lawsuit, a jury found that the DSHS violated the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing in its contracts with individual providers who live with the DSHS clients for whom they provide care. After appeals, the verdict was upheld for the providers.
The Order Approving Plan of Administration and Distribution was entered on January 30, 2015. Class members are represented by Gregory A. McBroom, John J. White, Jr. and Kevin B. Hansen of Livengood Alskog, PLLC and Darrell L. Cochran and Michael T. Pfau of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, PLLC.
Under this plan, there will be a dual phase distribution process. In the first phase, pro rata awards will be sent to each class member. The second phase will commence after a period of two years. Any monies that go unclaimed from the first phase will be pro rata allocated to those members that cashed their first checks.
The State has paid the Judgment in full. We are currently working with the parties to assemble the list of addresses for class members, and to finalize the award calculations for each class member. Please keep checking back for updates as to the timing of the distribution.