Luther Granquist (Part 1)

Luther Granquist, with Anne Henry, both of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, served as Plaintiff Counsel in the Welsch Case.

The 45th Anniversary of the Welsch Case Beginning

(Run time 1:51)

It's kind of interesting how this started. It was March of '72, if my recollection is correct, that another attorney in our office named Jeff Harche got a call from the Patient Advocate at Anoka State Hospital.

Now Anoka was then and still is an institution for people with mental illness. But the Patient Advocate called and said that there was man in seclusion up there who needed legal representation because he was being held in seclusion for refusing to sign his treatment plan. And his treatment plan called for electroshock therapy.

Jeff went up there and he interviewed the man, and we sued them in Federal Court, of course saying you could not condition… or you could not put somebody into seclusion for refusing an invasive procedure like electroshock.

And the case settled late in the day that the Minneapolis Star at that time had this man's picture in his seclusion room on the front page of the second section.

One of the persons that we sued was the acting Medical Director at Anoka at that time, Dr. Leonard Fielding, who called us up and said "You guys have better things to do than sue me" and suggested that we take a look at what was happening at Faribault and at Cambridge. And Jeff Harche and Neil Mickenberg, who were in the office at that time, did that.

And, of course, one look at the institutions at that time would indicate that something ought to happen. The conditions at that time were, I think, fairly described as horrendous.