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Civil Rights – ADA – Rehabilitation Act

U.S. Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Civil Rights – ADA – Rehabilitation Act

A patient may sue a hospital under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

“Compensatory damages are available under the Rehabilitation Act, Barnes v. Gorman, 536 U.S. 181, 189 (2002), but may be available only for claims of intentional discrimination. See CTL ex
rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 524, 528 & n.4 (7th Cir. 2014). Reed’s allegations that the hospital, with knowledge of her disability, purposely denied her access to the
computer that helps her communicate, permit an inference of intentional discrimination sufficient to sup-port a claim for compensatory damages. That claim is legally sufficient, at least at
the pleading stage. Whether evidence will support Reed’s claim is a question for later in the case.”

“Second, Reed may also seek compensatory damages under the Rehabilitation Act for retaliation based on her allegation that the hospital threw her into a ‘seclusion room’ when she asked for
her computer. The Act does not limit retaliation claims to the employment context. Section 794a(a)(2), which provides remedies for violations of the Re-habilitation Act outside of
employment, expressly incorporates the ‘remedies, procedures, and rights’ available under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d–7. Those provisions include
that law’s anti-retaliation provision. See 34 C.F.R. § 100.7(e). Barker v. Riverside County Office of Educ., 584 F.3d 821, 825 (9th Cir. 2009); Weber v. Cranston School Comm., 212 F.3d 41,
47–48 (1st Cir. 2000). Other circuits have also recognized that the Rehabilitation Act provides for retaliation claims outside the employment context. See, e.g., D.B. ex rel. Elizabeth B.
v. Esposito, 675 F.3d 26, 41 (1st Cir. 2012); Mershon v. St. Louis Univ., 442 F.3d 1069, 1074 & n.3 (8th Cir. 2006); Hoyt v. St. Mary’s Rehab. Ctr., 711 F.2d 864, 867 (8th Cir. 1983).”

Vacated and Remanded.

14-2592 Reed v. Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Randa, J., Hamilton, J.

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