December 16th, 2020
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Thurman v. Medical Transportation Management, Inc.
Opinion Date: December 15, 2020
Judge: James C. Ho
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that MTM's failure to pick him up violated his purported right to non-emergency medical transportation under various federal regulatory and statutory Medicaid provisions. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims, joining its sister circuits in holding that a section 1983 claim may not be brought to enforce an administrative regulation. The court explained that this conclusion is consistent with the principle that federal rights are created by Congress, not agencies of the Executive Branch, as the Supreme Court has affirmed on various occasions. The court also held that none of the statutory provisions invoked by plaintiff clearly and unambiguously create a right to non-emergency medical transportation, as established precedents require for a claim under section 1983.
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