The Michigan Court of Appeals Upholds the University of Michigan Medical School's Decision to Dismiss a Medical Student, Rejecting Her Claim That the School's Failed to Provide Reasonable Accommodations For Her Visual Disability

The Michigan Court of Appeals Upholds the University of Michigan Medical School's Decision to Dismiss a Medical Student, Rejecting Her Claim That the School Failed to Provide Reasonable Accommodations For Her Visual Disability

11/13/2007
In Fernandez v University of Michigan Board of Regents, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Michigan Court of Appeals, decided November 13, 2007 (Docket No. 275296), the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Washtenaw County Circuit Court's decision granting summary disposition in favor of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. The plaintiff claimed that her dismissal from the University of Michigan Medical School was unlawful because the University allegedly failed to accommodate her vision-related disability. The University established, however, that it had granted numerous accommodations to the plaintiff, including double-time on examinations, frequent breaks during testing, the opportunity to remediate classes, and leaves of absence in order to seek assistance for her claimed disability. The Michigan Court of Appeals' unpublished opinion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, the Court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the University was required to grant all requests for accommodation, agreeing instead with the University's assertion that Michigan's People with Disabilities Civil Rights Act requires the accommodation of the "crux" of an individual's disability. Second, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the University's argument that the judiciary owes deference the academic standards set by institutions of higher education. The University was represented in this action by Dickinson Wright attorneys Timothy H. Howlett and Trent B. Collier. For more information, the Court of Appeals' opinion in Fernandez v University of Michigan Board of Regents is available at: Fernandez v University of Michigan Board of Regents
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