United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Board of Supervisors for Louisiana
State University and Agricultural and Mechanical
College's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 29). For the
following reasons, the motion is GRANTED IN PART.
Kathryn Frankola alleges that she was not readmitted to the
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans
(“LSU School of Medicine”) after she took medical
leave in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
(“Rehabilitation Act”), Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title IX of the Educational
Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), and state law.
began attending LSU School of Medicine in the fall of 2010.
At the outset, the administration was made aware of
Plaintiff's bipolar disorder. Plaintiff alleges that
despite her condition and a manic episode that occurred in
the fall of 2010, she was treated as a regular student and
not given any additional accommodations. She alleges that her
requests for accommodations were denied in several separate
instances from 2010 to 2014.
spring of 2011, Plaintiff failed her Physiology course and
was dismissed from the school. Plaintiff then retook and
passed the course at the University of Vermont and was
readmitted to the LSU School of Medicine for her second year
in the fall of 2012. In her first semester back, Plaintiff
failed another course, Pathology. She was allowed to retake
Pathology in the summer of 2013 but again failed the course.
She alleges that her failure was the result of the denial of
certain test taking accommodations. In light of her failure
to complete the curriculum, however, Plaintiff was placed on
academic probation and required to repeat her entire second
year. As a condition of academic probation, Plaintiff would
be dismissed if she failed another course.
fall of 2013, Plaintiff became pregnant. Plaintiff discussed
her options with Dean of Students Joseph Delcarpio, and it
was decided that she take a medical leave of absence in light
of her pregnancy and bipolar disorder. Plaintiff alleges that
Delcarpio informed her that all that was required to resume
classes was a “Fit for Duty” letter.
November 2014, Plaintiff submitted her “Fit for
Duty” letter to return to school. She alleges that she
was required to go through the readmission process and that
readmission was denied. Plaintiff alleges that she was not
informed that there were any risks associated with taking
medical leave or that she would be required to be readmitted.
Plaintiff appealed the University's decision, and the
appeal was denied in January 2015. This suit followed.
Plaintiff alleges that she was not allowed readmission
because of her pregnancy and bipolar disorder.
Board of Supervisors for Louisiana State University and
Agricultural and Mechanical College has filed the instant
Motion for Summary Judgment alleging that Plaintiff's
claims should be dismissed because they are either prescribed
or unsubstantiated. This Court will consider each argument in
judgment is appropriate “if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled
to a judgment as a matter of law.” A genuine issue
of fact exists only “if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
determining whether the movant is entitled to summary
judgment, the Court views facts in the light most favorable
to the non-movant and draws all reasonable inferences in his
favor. “If the moving party meets the
initial burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of
material fact, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to
produce evidence or designate specific facts showing the
existence of a genuine issue for trial.” Summary judgment
is appropriate if the non-movant “fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case.” “In
response to a properly supported motion for summary judgment,
the non-movant must identify specific evidence in the record
and articulate the manner in which that evidence supports
that party's claim, and such evidence must be sufficient
to sustain a finding in favor of the non-movant on all issues
as to which the non- movant would bear the burden of proof at
trial.” “We do not . . . in the absence of
any proof, assume that the nonmoving party could or would
prove the necessary facts.” Additionally, “[t]he
mere argued existence of a factual dispute will not defeat an
otherwise properly supported motion.”
first alleges that many of Plaintiff's claims are
prescribed. Defendant points out that the prescriptive period
for all of Plaintiff's claims is one year. Therefore, claims
relating to any incident that occurred outside of one year of
suit are prescribed. Plaintiff makes several claims regarding
Defendant's failure to provide accommodations for her
disability, which occurred outside of the prescriptive
period. Plaintiff argues that prescription does not apply to
eliminate these claims, however, because her claims did not
accrue until she had exhausted the appeals process. ...