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Most courts have held that monetary damages are not available under the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) but may be available under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Several courts of appeals have ruled that before bringing a damages case under Section 504 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), parents must first exhaust their administrative remedies under the IDEA (see cases below). However, there have been a number of cases of children with IEPs where cases were brought without requesting a due process hearing and instead, using "artful pleading" and no mention of a violation of IDEA, cases have been filed in federal court without "exhausting" their administrative remedies.
Allows Damages Against Hawaii. Judge rules that a family can sue to force
the state to pay for therapy for their 6-year old autistic daughter and can seek
punitive damages for the emotional distress suffered while trying to get services
for their child.
Available Due to "Deliberate Indifference" from School & State
Judge rules that school and state showed "deliberate indifference" to
needs of child with Down syndrome who attended public school for 16 years - allowed
for an award of damages.
Jury Awards $600,000 Damages to Parents - In Whitehead v. Hillsborough, a Florida jury took less than 2 hours before deciding that the school system retaliated against the parents of a child with Downs Syndrome.
Whitehead Case: The Inside Story by Laura Whiteside, Esq. The famous $600,000 jury verdict against the Hillsborough Florida school district - what was this case really about? Laura Whiteside, attorney for Andrew Whitehead and his parents, tells the "inside story."
you read these damages cases, you will learn that the outcome of damages cases
is varies in different parts of the country.
v. Rose. Damages requested under the ADA for depressed child who was tormented
and humiliated by her teacher; also discusses retaliation. U. S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit ruled: "to establish a violation of the ADA, a plaintiff
must show (1) that he has a disability; (2) that he is otherwise qualified for
the benefit in question; and (3) that he was excluded from the benefit due to
discrimination solely on the basis of the disability."
v. Knox Co (TN) U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Decision in "Time-out Room" abuse case; creates exceptions to exhaustion requirement in damages
Doe v. Withers (WV) Doe v. Withers was the first special education jury trial and the first special education dollar damages case. A jury awarded a teacher to pay damages after he repeatedly refused to implement a child's IEP. The article includes the Complaint and Jury Orders.
Jarron Draper v. Atlanta Public School District (N.D. GA 2008) Court denies motion by Atlanta Public Schools (“APS”) to dismiss Jarron’s civil rights claims for monetary damages under Section 504 after APS discriminated against him, harassed him, and retaliated against him and his family over a period of many years. (PDF)
Union Elementary School District v. Andrew Ordway (C.D. Cal., verdict Dec.
5, 2002). Judge rules that school administrator was personally liable for damages
under the Civil Rights Act for violating a mother's right to get a "free
appropriate public education" for her special-needs son, as required by the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (in pdf)
v. Bd Ed. Newburgh City Sch. Dist, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In damages case under Section 504 and ADA, court rules that disabled child must
first exhaust administrative remedies under IDEA. Decision includes extensive
discussion of relief under statutes, compensatory and punitive damages, exhaustion
requirement, and futility exception (2002).
v. Manassas. After parents requested compensatory and punitive damages under
IDEA, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that damages are not
available under the IDEA.
v. Matula, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Availability of damages
under Section 504, IDEA, and Section 1983 when district refused to evaluate, classify
and provide appropriate services to disabled child; exhaustion, qualified immunity,
due process (1995).
v. Hillsborough. Parents of autistic child brought suit for monetary damages
for district's failure to provide an appropriate education; U. S. Court of Appeals
for the Eleventh Circuit held that parents did not show that school failed to
provide FAPE or that child discriminated against.
v. Clark Co. Sch. Bd. School brutality case; damages sought under Section
504 and the ADA on behalf of child with disability. U. S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit issued pro-child decision; discussed exhaustion of remedies
under the IDEA; appropriate damages for physical abuse and injury. Decision
Last revised: 04/21/13
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