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Case Name T.H. v. Walcott DR-NY-0015
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-08777-JLC ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On October 11, 2013, children with disabilities enrolled in New York City public schools, filed this lawsuit against the New York Department of Education in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983, Title II of the Americans with ... read more >
On October 11, 2013, children with disabilities enrolled in New York City public schools, filed this lawsuit against the New York Department of Education in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, §504 of The Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Act. The plaintiffs alleged that the school district had forcibly interrupted the education of students with disabilities through repeated misuse of emergency medical services (EMS) to remove these students from school even though they were not in need of medical care. Instead, the district relied on EMS to address disruptive behavior. The plaintiffs also alleged this practice was unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and that it violated state law and city regulations. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to halt this practice, as well as damages and attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs were represented by Legal Services NYC and private counsel.

On March 18, 2014, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding five additional plaintiff-parents and their children as well as new factual details.

On March 31, 2014, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

April 7, 2014 – referring case to magistrate judge James L. Cott for settlement. From June 30, 2014 through November 6, 2014, the parties held five settlement conferences in front of Magistrate Judge Cott. In light of the settlement conferences, the defendants removed their motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on September 24, 2014.

On December 15, 2014, the parties entered a settlement agreement that required policy changes and training for the defendant, as well as reporting requirements throughout the stipulation period that runs until June 30, 2018. In addition to injunctive relief, the defendant won $502,621.7 in emotional damages and out-of-pocket costs for eleven plaintiff-children and their parents and $613,000 in attorneys fees. The terms of agreement were enforceable by the court.

On January 14, 2015, Magistrate Judge Cott approved all the individual plaintiffs’ infant compromises, which outlined how the plaintiff parents would use the plaintiff children’s damages money. Most put the money into trusts for their chidlrens’ future use. Although the court maintains jurisdiction to monitor the settlement, all the disputes are now resolved.

Sean Mulloy - 10/01/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Fire
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Education
Reasonable Modifications
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
State law
Defendant(s) City of New York
New York City Department of Education
New York Fire Department
Plaintiff Description Children with disabilities enrolled in New York City public schools and their parents
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Pierce County v. Washington
www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Bravo v. Board of Commissioners of Dona Ana County
http://www.bazelon.org/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Montgomery Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Missouri P&A and Scaletty v. Carnahan
http://www.bazelon.org/missouri-pa-and-scaletty-v-carnahan/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:13-cv-08777-JLC (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Preliminary Statement [ECF# 1]
DR-NY-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/11/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 19]
DR-NY-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement [ECF# 71]
DR-NY-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/12/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order [ECF# 113] (S.D.N.Y.)
DR-NY-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/14/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement Regarding Attorneys' Fees [ECF# 119]
DR-NY-0015-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cott, James Court not on record
DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-0004 | DR-NY-0015-0005 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bedard, Nancy (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0002 | DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Foster, Susan E. (Washington)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0002 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Lamb, Christopher D. (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-0005 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Mar, Nelson (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0002 | DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Mullkoff, Daniel Erick (New York)
DR-NY-0015-9000
Schorr, Nanette (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0002 | DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Wang, Mariann Meier (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0001 | DR-NY-0015-0002 | DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-0005 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carter, Zachary W. (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0005
Edmonds, Elizabeth (New York)
DR-NY-0015-9000
Longley, Serena Mabel (New York)
DR-NY-0015-9000
Richter, Marilyn (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-0005 | DR-NY-0015-9000
Tuffaha, Omar Hani (New York)
DR-NY-0015-0003 | DR-NY-0015-9000

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