Spring 2015

Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504

Parents Breggett and Terrence Rideau filed suit against Keller ISD on behalf of their child who receives special education services, alleging that a teacher in the district physically abused their child in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504.  After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Rideaus, awarding damages that included $150,000 for the parents’ past mental anguish.  After the verdict, Keller ISD filed a motion to dismiss for a variety of reasons including that the Rideaus lack standing to recover damages for their own injuries under the ADA and Section 504.

Although both the ADA and Section 504 permit non-disabled individuals to bring claims based on their association with a disabled person, such claims require a separate and distinct denial of a benefit or service to the non-disabled person. The Rideaus did not allege that they are disabled, suffered discrimination, or were denied benefits or services based on their child’s disability.  The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas—Fort Worth Division granted Keller ISD’s motion to dismiss, and the Rideaus appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  LAF filed an amicus curiae brief with the Fifth Circuit on July 7, 2015.  Rideau v. Keller Indep. Sch. Dist., No. 15-10095 (U.S. Court of Appeals—Fifth Circuit).  LAF’s Attorney: José Martín, Richards, Lindsay & Martín, L.L.P., Austin.