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Summary: Western Michigan University Cooley
Law School student Andre Cooley received a grade
of D in a course. After unsuccessfully appealing
that grade, Cooley ﬁled a suit claiming a violation of
the Americans with Disabilities Act because he had
attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder.
The law school ﬁled a motion to dismiss.
The district judge ﬁrst stated that courts must
show great respect for academic judgments. He also
said the ADA didn’t require a university to lower its
standards to accommodate a handicapped person.
He ruled that Cooley had not alleged a plausible ADA
claim because there were no allegations: (1) of a causal
connection between his ADHD and the grade he received
and (2) that Cooley had made any kind of accommo-
dation request with respect to that particular course.
The judge dismissed the suit. ■
DISABILITY — ACCOMMODATIONS
Student’s pet can stay
while suit is pending
Case name: Entine v. Lissner, No. 2:17-cv-946
(S.D. Ohio 10/30/17).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Southern District
of Ohio issued an injunction against Ohio State
What it means: Regulations promulgated pursu-
ant to the Americans with Disabilities Act require
universities and others to allow the use of a service
animal, subject to several narrow exceptions.
Summary: A member of the Chi Omega sorority at
Ohio State University, identiﬁed only as “Ms. Gold-
man,” complained in October 2017 to the adminis-
tration that her Crohn’s disease was aggravated by
an unspeciﬁed pet owned by sorority sister Madeline
Entine that she kept in the sorority house.
Regulations promulgated pursuant to the Ameri-
cans with Disabilities Act required universities to allow
the use of a “service animal,” except if: (1) its presence
would fundamentally alter the nature of services or
activities, (2) it would pose a direct threat to the health
or safety of others, or (3) it was either out of control or
not housebroken. Further, a Department of Justice
interpretation of those regulations clearly stated that
neither allergies nor fear of dogs were valid reasons
for denying access to people using service animals.
However, OSU disabilities coordinator Scott Liss-
ner decided that the ADA regulations didn’t apply to
Entine’s pet because it was an “emotional support
animal” instead of a “service animal.” He chose to
resolve the dispute by accommodating Goldman
because she signed a lease to reside in the Chi Omega
house before Entine. The administration then ordered
Entine to get rid of her pet or move out.
Entine ﬁled a suit seeking an order forbidding
OSU from enforcing the directive. She also ﬁled a
motion for a temporary restraining order to preserve
the status quo while her suit was pending.
After a hearing, the district judge decided Entine
was facing irreparable harm because her position as
vice president of the sorority required her to reside in
the sorority house. He also ruled there was no writ-
ten policy, procedure, or legal authority for Lissner
to resolve the dispute in the way he did.
The judge was also troubled by testimony that
Lissner had been told that Goldman’s father had
suggested Goldman rub her face in Entine’s things
to worsen her allergic reaction.
The judge issued the temporary injunction, order-
ing that OSU couldn’t enforce its ultimatum while
the suit was pending. ■
DISABILITY — ACCOMMODATIONS
Dismissed med student
claims disability discrimination
Case name: Martin v. Southern Illinois University
School of Medicine, No. 16-CV-3294 (C.D. Ill. 10/23/17).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Central District
of Illinois granted a summary judgment in favor
of Southern Illinois University, which the plaintiff
had improperly named “Southern Illinois University
School of Medicine.”
What it means: In a suit claiming a failure to
accommodate a disability, there is usually no liability
if the plaintiff didn’t request a particular accom-
modation, or didn’t provide sufﬁcient information
to determine what might be reasonable.
Summary: Antonio Martin was admitted to the
Southern Illinois University medical school as a ﬁrst-
year student for the 2012–13 academic year even
though he had attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder.
After he received grades of “unsatisfactory” in two
courses, Martin was granted a leave of absence for
the remainder of the academic year.
When he returned to SIU in 2013 to attempt the
ﬁrst year of medical school again, he only requested
extended time on tests.
That accommodation was granted. However, logis-
tical problems dictated the only way the university
could accommodate Martin for one particular 2013
exam was to place him in a separate room. Appar-
ently, various people regularly checked on him during
that test. He didn’t indicate any dissatisfaction with
that accommodation at the time.