Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Appellate Court Win

I am happy to announce that my firm won a significant case in the Tennessee Court of Appeals last month. The case is Sabaski v. Wilson County Board of Education, et al. The appeal was from a dismissal by the trial court of our claims for false imprisonment and assault. The basis for the dismissal was the defendants' assertions that the plaintiffs must first exhaust their administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Our position was that IDEA only required exhaustion when the basis of the lawsuit was a federal statute that was enacted for the protection of disabled individuals (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act). Since the plaintiffs causes of action were grounded in state law, exhaustion was not required. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the trial court and remanded the case, which will proceed to trial.

Since this opinion is very detrimental to the defendant, far beyond the scope of this single case, I expect them to seek review by the Tennessee Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see if that court accepts the case.

Anyone interested can read the opinion by clicking here.

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