Nonprofits challenging New York law regarding approval of Medicaid program advertising

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jul 3, 2018

SYRACUSE, NY (Legal Newsline) – Several nonprofit corporations in New York are challenging the state's requirement that advertisements regarding the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program must be submitted for approval.

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State Inc., Western New York Independent Living Center Inc., et al. filed a complaint on June 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Albany Division against Howard Zucker, as commissioner of the Department of Health, and the New York State of Department of Health alleging violation of the federal right of free speech.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that in April 12, the state's governor signed a law that fiscal intermediates should submit all Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program advertisements to the Department of Health prior to dissemination for approval. The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program is a Medicaid program that provides services to chronically ill or individuals with physical disabilities.

The plaintiffs claim the statute violates their First Amendment rights regardless of whether their advertisements and/or informational material are deemed as commercial or viewpoint speech.

The plaintiffs hold Zucker and the New York State of Department of Health responsible because the defendants allegedly signed a new law that burdens, restricts and infringes the public's right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment to grant costs, including attorneys' fees, and respectfully pray that the court grant such other and further relief as it deems just. They are represented by Hermes Fernandez of Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC in Albany, New York.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Albany Division case number 1:18-cv-00746-FJS-CFH

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Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Albany Division

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