The METO Settlement
Shamus O'Meara: Shedding Light
Shamus O'Meara: The settlement agreement, as a fundamental tenet, contemplates and articulates that it is no longer appropriate to use handcuffs and leg irons and mechanical means to restrain residents at METO or its successor facility. That's important. And it's important because we need to reflect on what the Just Plain Wrong report said about what was occurring to our loved ones at that facility. They were being handcuffed. They were shackled with leg irons. They were thrown into seclusion to the point at which many of these people simply would lie down on the ground and assume the position of being handcuffed or shackled without an emergency ever even arising.
That's how abusive an environment it became, and I think that the State Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities did us all a great service by shedding light on what occurred out there. So with that backdrop, the state and our office on behalf of the settlement class and the individuals that were sued in the lawsuit all came together, and we said, "Look, we can agree that the use of metal handcuffs and leg irons and these mechanical means to restrain are out and are prohibited." And that's what the settlement agreement does.