Washington, DC—To say the conditions in Forest Haven were bad would be an understatement. The facility, which housed people with intellectual disabilities, had neglected, abused and otherwise mistreated residents so severely that a federal judge ordered it's closure.
From 1988 until 2002, Professor Tulman served as counsel for plaintiffs in Evans v. Williams, a class action on behalf of persons with mental retardation. The suit, filed in 1976 by an Antioch law professor, led to the closing in 1991 of Forest Haven, a large institution housing a children’s developmental center and mental institution.
As a result of the lawsuit, an agreement filed by the Evans parties, and approved by the court in 2001, established and funds The Quality Trust for Individuals with Disability, a non-profit organization to advance the interests of people with disabilities in D.C.
"Jan May, '77, wrote the initial complaint for Antioch. Former Mayor Vince Gray, long-time head of The ARC of DC, got Antioch to take the case. He and the Evans family testified at DC Council hearings to praise the groundbreaking work of Antioch and later DC School of Law's Clinics," Shelley Broderick, Dean of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL), said. "They appeared on my TV show to thank Prof. Tulman—who took over the case for many years—and the new UDC-DCSL, and to tell the story of the continuing need for assistance for Forest Haven residents. This case is a big part of our history!"
Recently, journalist Noor Tagouri examined the history of the facility, detailed the legal battle surrounding it and even took viewers inside the abandoned facility.