Distressed & Suicidal Students; Students; Disability Discrimination; Discrimination, Accommodation, & Diversity
Bied v. Hudson Valley Community College, et al. (N.D. N.Y. March 30, 2018)
Decision and Order granting-in-part and denying-in-part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff, a student at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) who was diagnosed with cognitive disabilities prone to expressions of socially inappropriate behaviors, brought claims of disability discrimination, false arrest, malicious prosecution, IIED and NIED against Defendants after they arrested her for stalking an HVCC professor. Specific to her claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act (RA), Plaintiff alleged that Defendants failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation for her exams in the Spring of 2014, failed to provide her with a reasonable exam time extension, and failed to consider her disability before arresting her. The court dismissed Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim as it pertains to her requested accommodations in the Spring of 2014, since there was insufficient evidence for a jury to find that Defendants were motivated by unlawful discrimination or were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s rights under the RA. However, the court allowed Plaintiff’s claim to proceed as it pertains to her requests for extended time on exams, stating that a reasonably jury could conclude that the HVCC professor associated Plaintiff’s “stalking” and other socially inappropriate behaviors with Plaintiff’s disability, harbored discriminatory animus or ill will towards Plaintiff for directing this behavior at her, and this animus motivated the professor’s decision to deny Plaintiff further exam extensions. Plaintiff’s false arrest and malicious prosecution claims were dismissed because Defendants acted with probable cause. Last, Plaintiff’s intentional and negligent infliction of emotion distress claims were dismissed because the facts she alleged did not meet the high threshold of outrageous and extreme conduct.