Quest Media, a publication founded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, recently featured Managing Partner Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum in an article highlighting a recent win for her client, Beckley Lorenz. Mr. Lorenz is a 26-year-old man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital condition characterized by progressive muscular degeneration. He requires assistance with most aspects of daily living, including personal hygiene and food consumption. He also uses a BiPAP at night and a CoughAssist device twice a day.
Mr. Lorenz submitted a request to the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to live independently in a licensed community living settlement of his choosing – a request that was denied on the grounds that he required skilled nursing for use of the BiPAP and CoughAssist. However, Mr. Lorenz maintained that he had never needed the assistance of trained nurses to operate those devices. It was at this point that Mr. Lorenz and his family decided to appeal the government’s decision.
Sharon told Quest Media, “When I first heard about the case, I was shocked that a young man like Beckley was being denied the opportunity to live in a community setting.” In taking on this case, Sharon dedicated herself to learning about Mr. Lorenz’s condition, speaking with his close friends, family and medical professionals to understand why the State may have made the decision it did.
It did not add up to her. She told Quest Media, “There are thousands of people who live in the community with very complex medical needs, and the department was saying he had skilled needs that could not be met in the community.” Ultimately, her conversations and research led her to an understanding that “The [DDA was] living in a world of this disability from maybe 20 years ago.”
The Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings reversed the DDA’s decision on May 30, 2022. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that DDA erred in its determination that Mr. Lorenz required on site nursing and that his care needs could not be delegated by a nurse to unlicensed residential staff. This decision was granted under Section 7-102 of the Health General Article, which, in part holds that the State must “require the Administration to designate sufficient resources to foster and strengthen a permanent comprehensive system of community programming for individuals with developmental disability as an alternative to institutional care.” Read more about Sharon’s work on this case here.
ABOUT SHARON KREVOR-WEISBAUM
Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum is a mentor to colleagues and clients alike. She takes great pride in her role as Managing Partner of Brown, Goldstein & Levy while continuing her active practice on behalf of a varied client base. Sharon remains a passionate and forceful advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families who confront barriers in education, high-stakes testing, employment, housing, and accessing state and federal services and supports.