Meanwhile, in the courts, plaintiff counsel assigned to the Welsch case believed further litigation was a certainty. The case was transferred to Judge David Doty and round-the-clock discussions began in March 1987.
The result a negotiated settlement that would:
- Maintain staff ratios;
- Improve therapy and planning;
- Enable those with the most significant disabilities to leave the institutions;
- Create an Ombudsman office to investigate complaints.
On August 25, 1989, seventeen years after it was initially filed, the Welsch class action lawsuit was dismissed after prompting massive changes in the care of Minnesota's residents with developmental disabilities.