Federal Judge Price Marshall has awarded $83,787 in attorney fees to Legal Aid of Arkansas for successfully mounting a class action lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Human Services to protect home care for some 7,000 elderly and disabled people.

The lawsuit challenged a DHS switch to use of a computer formula to determine hours of care rather than a nurse’s discretion. The effect was to reduce services to the point that those covered would be forced to consider institutional care.

The judge didn’t grant all fees sought, but the state had sought an even greater reduction, claiming the lawsuit was unnecessary beyond changes that could have occurred in an administrative appeal process. The judge disagreed and awarded $8,007 in costs and $75,780 in fees.