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Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits Are Not Restricted to Medical Malpractice

June 25, 2021

Besides medical malpractice, which Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys often handle, cerebral palsy lawsuits can also be brought because of discrimination, poor services, and negligence injuries. Children with cerebral palsy face many issues as they grow. There are laws in place to protect their rights and ensure they get equal opportunities in different areas of life. When their rights are violated, parents can take legal action to fight for the children’s rights and seek justice for any harm suffered.

Poor Services and Discrimination

There have been several cases of children with cerebral palsy getting poor services and facing discrimination at school. As a result, parents have filed lawsuits to protect the rights of their children. In one case, a school district had barred a service animal for a child with cerebral palsy. In February 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the family that had sued the district. 

Pandemic Shutdowns

Several school districts have faced litigation over their special education services during the pandemic shutdowns.

Public school students with cerebral palsy or other disabilities have a right to receive special services, whether in-person or online. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide free appropriate education for children with disabilities in conformity with the students’ individual plans.

During the pandemic shutdown, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance asking districts to make sure students with disabilities receive the services specified in their plans to the greatest extent possible. A number of parents felt that their public schools did not provide special services. Consequently, parents sued school districts over their failure to provide their special needs children, several of whom had cerebral palsy, with adequate services during school closures.

Private Schools

A family can seek legal assistance if a school refuses to provide the services or accommodations necessary to meet the needs of a child with cerebral palsy. Although private schools are held to different standards than public schools, private schools can be subject to disability anti-discrimination laws due to funding.

Schools that receive federal funds are prohibited from discriminating against children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. After the COVID-19 outbreak, many private schools applied for and received federal stimulus benefits like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. 

Nevertheless, private schools are still refusing to accept children with disabilities. In one case, the family of a 13-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has sued two private schools for refusing to accommodate her. The family is seeking compensation for damages and relief preventing the institutions from discriminatory conduct.

Negligence Injuries

When school aides are negligent, they can cause children with cerebral palsy to suffer injuries. Schools can be held liable for the children’s injuries because of failing to train their aides properly.

Parents may have to go up against institutions from time to time with the help of Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys to ensure their children get equal access and opportunities.

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