Supreme Court seems poised to rule in favor of deaf student in damages case

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in regard to what recourse students with disabilities have when they feel they are not being served.

The case centers around a deaf student, Miguel Luna Perez. According to his family, his school lied about the progress he was making and in general failed to accommodate his disabilities. The question at hand: Does receiving a settlement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) precludes seeking a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Perez, now 27, received a settlement from the school for the IDEA claims which included extra schooling and sign language instruction. But according to the lower courts that settlement prevented him from seeking damages under ADA. Experts say the implications are huge for families with children who qualify under ADA. A family may choose to delay getting claims resolved because it would take away their right to get a bigger settlement.

According to the discourse yesterday, it appears as if the Justices leaning towards siding with Perez. Justice Elena Kagan even implied that Perez had done “everything right” in his pursuit of a settlement.

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