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Posts Tagged ‘Summary judgment’

Parents raised enough evidence for jury to decide whether they were entitled to damages for state education department’s Section 504 violations

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Mark H.  v. Hammamoto, 55 IDELR 31 (9th Cir. 2010):  The Court of Appeals determined that the trial court should not have issued a summary judgment dismissing the claims of the plaintiffs (the parents of two autistic girls) who sought damages for alleged violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by the Hawaii Department of Education.  Although states and school districts typically will not be liable for damages for claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504, parents can recover damages if the state or school district violated Section 504 intentionally or with deliberate indifference.  In this case the plaintiffs presented evidence that their daughters could not benefit from public education without receiving autism-specific services, the Department provided such services to other students with autism, the Department was aware that the plaintiffs’ daughters required autism-specific services, and the Department failed to provide such services to the plaintiffs’ daughters.  The trial court should have let the jury decide whether the plaintiffs are entitled to damages.

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