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 did not request a particular accommodation, or did not 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, logistical problems dictated that the only way the university could accommodate Martin for one particular 2013 exam was to place him in a separate room. Apparently, various people regularly checked on him during that test. He did not indicate any dissatisfaction with that accommodation at the time.Martin was assigned a grade of “unsatisfactory” in five courses at the end of the fall term.In December, the university granted Martin medical leave for the remainder of the academic year.Martin re‐entered medical school in the fall of 2014 to again attempt the first‐year curriculum.At the end of that academic year, Martin received an “unsatisfactory” grade in five courses.In June 2015, the student progress committee convened a hearing to consider Martin's dismissal for unsatisfactory academic performance. At that time, he allegedly complained for the first time about being placed in a room by himself to take the 2013 test, claiming that he was distracted by the people who regularly checked on him.After Martin was dismissed from the program, he filed a suit claiming that SIU failed to properly accommodate his disability.The university filed a motion for summary judgment.The district judge said the record showed that no student with a record of academic performance similar to Martin's had ever been permitted to remain in the program. He also noted that Martin had been granted his only requested accommodation of extended time on tests in his two attempts to complete the first year of medical school.With respect to the 2013 exam, the judge said there was usually no liability if the disabled person at the time did not request a particular accommodation, or did not provide sufficient information to determine what might be reasonable.She granted summary judgment in favor of SIU.
The Successful Registrar – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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