AW v. Magill

The Bazelon Center has joined attorneys from South Carolina Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities and the law firm of Womble Bond Dickenson in a class action lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. The suit alleges that adults with mental disabilities are being unnecessarily and illegally segregated in a state psychiatric hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.

According to the complaint, these individuals are being institutionalized in the hospital due to South Carolina’s failure to develop sufficient community-based mental health services. The complaint also describes ineffective discharge policies and an overreliance on other segregated settings in seeking community placements. Together, these practices perpetuate “unjustified isolation” and “discrimination based on disability” in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead.

The lawsuit is captioned AW v. Magill, No. 2:17-1346-RMG, and is pending before Judge Gergel in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.


U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina


May 24, 2017




AW, WL, RC, MJ, CM, and HH on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, and Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.


John H. Magill, in his official capacity as the Director of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health; the South Carolina Department of Mental Health; and the South Carolina Mental Health Commission.