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Court Cases « Disabilities – Legal


Court Cases: Legal issues faced by people with disabilities

  • “Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment.”  ≈ William J. Brennan, Jr.

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  • AARP Asks Court to Keep the Insurance Playing Field Level (AARP – Dec. 19, 2007)
    AARP has filed a “friend of the court” brief in a disability benefits case that threatens to tilt the playing field against disabled claimants once again.
  • Five Things You Should Know About Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Disability Rights (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law – 7/7/09)
    Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s first nominee to the United States Supreme Court, understands that disability rights are civil rights. As a judge on both the district court and circuit court, she has demonstrated that she recognizes the importance of Congress’ role in enacting major disability rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Bazelon Center and other disability organizations support her nomination and ask you to help ensure her confirmation by the Senate.
  • Historic Housing Discrimination Settlement (Disability Blog 1/19/11)
    Recently, the federal government reached an unprecedented $1.25 million settlement in U.S. v. Warren Properties, Inc., a housing discrimination case that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged in 2009. Jeremiah Stadtlander has paraplegia and relies on leg braces and crutches to get around. He lived in a second-floor apartment owned by Warren Properties, and made repeated requests for a transfer to a first-floor apartment because of his disability. Warren Properties refused to honor his accommodation request and Mr. Stadtlander suffered serious injuries on the stairs that increased the severity of his disability and eventually forced him to move out of the development.
  • James Courts v. Agency for Health Care Administration (Florida Court of Appeals – July 2007)
    The case of a 59 year old quadriplegic whose plan of care was reduced by the state and his subsequent appeal.
  • Settlement Agreement Betweeen the U.S. and South Florida Baptist Hospital ( – 4/26/06)
    The United States alleges that the Hospital discriminated against persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments as well as others associated with them by failing to provide them with the full and equal enjoyment of the Hospital’s goods, services, programs, and activities, and by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services when necessary for effective communication.
  • Tartarina vs. Dept. of Mental Retardation
    The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the state had failed to justify its policy of using an IQ score of 70 as a cutoff for eligibility for service to persons with intellectual disability.  The court ordered the state to re-evaluate its denial of services to 45-year-old Paula Tartarini, who had IQ scores of 71 at age 18, 49, at age 40, and 71 at age 42.  The state's Department of Developmental Services ("DDS," formerly known as the Department of Mental Retardation), had found Ms. Tartarini to be a person with "borderline intelligence" rather than "intellectual disability" and had therefore denied her application for DDS services.
  • See article from Margolis & Bloom for more information.
  • University Housing and the Fair Housing Act (Disability Blog – 2/28/11)
  • United States of America v. Millikin University is an important case concerning university housing and a student with disabilities. The Millikin case makes clear that the fair housing protections of persons with disabilities do not end at the university gates.