• Judge halts transfer of Murray residents

    by  • May 23, 2013 • News

    Federal judge Ruben Castillo today ordered the State of Illinois to stop the transfers of any Murray Center residents until 10:30 a.m. May 30, when Judge Marvin Aspen returns from vacation. lawsuit

    Castillo, an emergency judge, heard the arguments of the Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled, on a motion they had filed Wednesday requesting a temporary restraining order against the movement of Murray residents out of the facility.

    The League argued that they had been told 40-50 residents were scheduled to be moved out of the Murray Center by the end of the month. The state replied that the time frame was the end of June, but Castillo was unmoved by that assurance and while not granting the restraining order, did prohibit the state from moving “a single soul” out of the facility until judge aspen returns and can make a decision on the motion request.

    Plaintiff’s attorney Judith Sherwin presented information to Castillo behind the reasoning for the restraining order request.

    She said the state is taking reckless action that will place hundreds of profoundly developmentally disabled adults residing at the Murray center at extreme risk of injury and even death.

    She cited sworn affidavits by more than a dozen Murray employees and multiple guardians regarding the discharge processes currently being used by the State.

    Sherwin says Murray staff is being excluded from the transition process; that the needs and safety of the residents is being disregarded and that the state is failing to even inspect homes before they transfer residents and all of their belongings into new living arrangements.

    She cited incidents of having a resident taken to their new home, only to find it still under construction, while other homes have been found to be unfit.

    Still other placements, she said, involve residents who should not live together for safety reasons, yet those issues were ignored, despite warnings from Murray staff.

    In one case an aggressive resident was being moved with a passive resident. But staff warnings of the danger to the passive resident were ignored. She says before the two were even out of the Murray parking lot, the aggressive resident attacked the passive resident. The two were still moved together.

    In another case, three residents were scheduled to be moved into a community home together. One, she says, has a history of sexual acts, another a history of extreme violence and aggression requiring a high level of supervision and the third is a passive individual in a wheelchair with no mobility.