ON THE ASBURY CASE FROM WRIGHTSLAW.COM
Many readers of
our newsletter remember the Daniel Asbury case. Daniel is a
young autistic child who receives ABA therapy. In the Spring of 1998,
before a due process hearing, his case settled for $133,000. The press
release and settlement agreement are in the Advocacy Library (link
below). His parents also sued the state of Missouri.
We received an
update from Kansas attorney Mary Jane White who represents Daniel
and his parents:
Dear Pete and
I thought you
might be interested in an update on the Asbury case.
The Asbury claims
against Missouri SEA (DESE) have also been taken up by Missouri P
& A, who, with their special standing to seek systemic relief,
have effectively converted these claims in to a form of "class action."
P & A agreed to join in the claims, the claims survived DESE's
motion to dismiss. These claims include complaints about child find,
categorization, failure to disseminate promising research, failure
to implement promising research, failure to train and certify autism
teachers and failure to enter into appropriate interagency agreements
to benefit preschool children with autism.
Section 504 compensatory
and punitive damage claims also survived, even under the 8th Circuit's
narrow rulings requiring gross professional misjudgment.
DESE, the Asburys,
their attorneys and Missouri P & A go to federal mediation with
ALJ Lyn Beekman of Michigan (who sat as the hearing officer on 4 recent
due process "Lovaas" cases in Michigan, and who participated in the
Michigan task force concerning Lovaas-style interventions) as the
court-approved neutral. Mediation may continue through mid-April of
Trial is November
1, 1999. Jury trial has been requested.
Mary Jane White