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Entrepreneur Sues Louisiana Over Respite Care Regulations

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Entrepreneur Sues Louisiana Over Respite Care Regulations


A New Orleans social worker has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to take on a state law that requires her to overcome “impossible” bureaucratic hurdles to helping families with special-needs children. The case, known as Newell-Davis v. Phillips, was filed on Jan. 12 in federal district court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The lead defendant, Courtney N. Phillips, is being sued in her official capacity as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. The plaintiffs are entrepreneur Ursula Newell-Davis and the business she founded, Sivad Home and Community Services LLC. Newell-Davis has spent her 20-year career counseling youths with mental health needs and cognitive disabilities, according to a case summary by Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a public-interest law firm that is representing her in the lawsuit, with the assistance of the Pelican Institute. As a social worker and as a mother to her own special-needs son, Newell-Davis has seen that children with disabilities and their families need support, especially those who come from poorer backgrounds. …

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