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Wrongful Termination and Res Judicata

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Michelle Frakes v. Peoria School District No. 150

Case No.: 15-3091

Officials: FLAUM, EASTERBROOK, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Wrongful Termination and Res Judicata

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Peoria, finding that Frakes failed to show that she engaged in any protected activity giving rise to a Section 504 claim. We agree. While Frakes provided some evidence that her “unsatisfactory” performance rating may have been unfair and her preferred teaching method may be better suited for disabled students, this does not render Frakes’s teaching style a protected activity under Section 504. Frakes provided no evidence that she complained about or discouraged discrimination based on disability or engaged in any other activity protected by law.

In affirming the district court, we also reject Peoria’s assertion that this case is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Peoria waived this defense and agreed to defending lawsuits in both state and federal court by waiting over a year and a half to make a res judicata argument. That was too late.



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Attorney Derek A. Hawkins is the managing partner at Hawkins Law Offices LLC, where he heads up the firm’s startup law practice. He specializes in business formation, corporate governance, intellectual property protection, private equity and venture capital funding and mergers & acquisitions. Check out the website at or contact them at 262-737-8825.

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