Former Somerset teacher wins $2 milli...

Former Somerset teacher wins $2 million lawsuit in disability case

There are 16 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Oct 6, 2009, titled Former Somerset teacher wins $2 million lawsuit in disability case. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The Somerset school district was ordered Tuesday by a federal court jury to pay a former teacher more than $2 million for failing to meet her disability needs.

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Since: Jun 10

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Oct 7, 2010
What was wrong with those school officials?!? I know it sounds like a made up condition, but I've never suffered through it. I've said it before and I'll say it again until I had a migraine I thought they were all whimps that couldn't handle a headache! Then I got one and now I have empathy. But these school officials are morons - considering that they could have accomadated her with no problem - now the tax payers are left holding the bag.
Nancy

Carol Stream, IL

#4 Oct 7, 2010
She wanted a room with a window?

OMG.
middle of road

Holmen, WI

#5 Oct 7, 2010
If she needs natural light let her get a job that would put her outside. Problem solved
blindman

Summerfield, FL

#6 Oct 7, 2010
Don't worry I hear she is running for office, she will fit right in with all are mentaly challenged potical leaders, who you people keep voting in every election!Goooooo Obammuer
ron burgandy

Saint Paul, MN

#7 Oct 7, 2010
unbelievable that this would even make it to a courtroom. this woman needs to be committed. I cant even fathom this idiocy.
RIOT

Madison, WI

#8 Oct 7, 2010
Note where she is now teaching. I don't know if we know all the details on this. If she had this disorder and had a doctor's referral and advisement for an accomadation I think the outcome would have been different. There are steps and rules when an accomadation is needed did she follow these steps or did she just say she had the disorder. I don't think that this is over yet and I hope that the school district fights back. It would be nice to have all the information instead of always the story of how the poor individual is treated badly by the management.
StacyA

Madison, WI

#9 Oct 7, 2010
Do you really think a jury of your peers didn't have all the information presented to them by both sides... To come to a unanimous decision.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#10 Oct 7, 2010
Tom Skroch wrote:
Really...."a seasonal affective disorder" is a disability.......really. What next, consitpation? I think she should be able to apply for social security disability and milk the tax payers some more for the rest of her life. If she is denied she can get one of those scum sucking lawyers who are on TV to help her at her her appeal. Absolutely killing me with this stuff.
There was nothing about her not wanting to work so why would she want to go on SSD? The woman isn't out to "milk" the system, she has a disability which required a little accomidation so she could do her job. The mentality of some of you posting is the same mentality of those that decided to ignore her request, which obviously was backed up by a doctors recommendation. Because of that backwards way of thinking the tax payers will have to pay and the so called "scum sucking lawyers" will continue to have clients.
josie

Star Prairie, WI

#11 Oct 7, 2010
I don't like to work inside either. Can I sue my employer.
ABC AND 123

Madison, WI

#12 Oct 7, 2010
Correction awarded 1,750,000.00, and 246662.00 for lost future income...
What this teacher went thru, what we heard was horrible. No employer should treat an employee the way she was treated. There is a ton more information that is not beening printed about this case, so the reader isn't get the full story...
WHAT

Hudson, WI

#13 Oct 7, 2010
josie wrote:
I don't like to work inside either. Can I sue my employer.
sure why not, lets all sue somebody, seems like the thing to do today, go hire a bottom feeder and sue somebody.
Rae

United States

#14 Oct 10, 2010
The ignorance and callousness demonstrated by some of these comments are similar to those of the Somerset principal's and superintendent's - and are so wrong and archaic. The ADA exists to help protect Americans who have disabilities - physical or mental. The administrators in this story chose to believe that a mental illness is not real or does not need to be considered because they couldn't see it as they could a physical illness, and because of their ignorant belief that a person with a mental illness is not worthy of the same respect and care as any other person.
Hopefully the results of this case - the jury's decision so loudly pronouncing the district's wrongdoing with their generous award to the plaintiff - will send the message to other company leaders that unethical and unlawful leadership is not tolerated in the United States. Hopefully, people with any disability will be better protected under the ADA as a result of this case.
To those of you making the outright stupid comments about Seasonal Affective Disorder, it is real, it is a recognized psychological condition - and perhaps you could learn a little about it before you make such ignorant comments about working outside or having a window to "solve the problem."
As to the slams against attorneys, the plaintiff's attorney worked to help her get back to work, to protect her rights as an American, and to hold the district accountable to follow the law, while the district's attorney worked to prolong the case over a 5 year period - in the attempt to force the plaintiff to drop the suit - NEVER willing to discuss settlement. I think the taxpayers should be questioning the district's decision to waste time and money as a result of the principal's and superintendent's horrific actions.
As to the ignorant comments that the taxpayers will be paying because of the plaintiff's decision to stand up for and fight for her rights, you are so wrong. Number one, the taxpayers will not be paying the $128,000 to the plaintiff or her attorney's fees, the district's insurance company will be paying. Yes, it is likely the district's insurance premiums will go up as a result of this suit but the district is wholly responsible for this senseless situation. The administrators and school board made the choice to ignore the plaintiff's medically necessary accommodation request for over a year!
I would imagine it was horribly painful for the plaintiff to go public with this - she just wanted to be able to go back to work. The taxpayers in this district should be questioning the school board's lack of oversight of their administrators, and the administrators' obvious lack of knowledge of the law, not to mention their unethical and inhumane actions. Are these the kind of people they want leading their schools and overseeing the education and care of their children?
Nicki D wrote:
What was wrong with those school officials?!? I know it sounds like a made up condition, but I've never suffered through it. I've said it before and I'll say it again until I had a migraine I thought they were all whimps that couldn't handle a headache! Then I got one and now I have empathy. But these school officials are morons - considering that they could have accomadated her with no problem - now the tax payers are left holding the bag.
Brigitte

Lake Benton, MN

#15 Oct 11, 2010
Kudos to you, Rae! Thank you for posting an intelligent comment. I can't believe that most people commenting on this case are that ignorant (or just stupid) in not believing in SAD. It's more than just needing light to work, Josie from New Richmond. The teacher made a simple request to allow her to do her job. And as for you, Ron of St. Paul, she does not need to be committed.

So thank you, Rae...well said!
ctnemesis

Somerset, WI

#16 Oct 11, 2010
To all of you who responded so negitively to this story I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you are treated like crap. Your ignorance is shining through! You should really have all of the facts before you make a stupid comment. Riot of Stoughton, do you really think she went through all of this without a doctor? Are you dense? She went to trial and she WON. You are absolutely right about one thing anyway...you certainly don't have all of the "details". Unlike you, the jury did have all of the details and in the end justice prevailed! Nicki D, you hit the nail on the head when you said "these school officials are morons"! I couldn't agree more. Josie of New Richmond, you want to sue your employer? Go for it! You probably won't get to far if your only reason is that you "don't like to work inside". Ron Burgandy, you're just an a**hole...sorry :)
Fish Belt

Amery, WI

#17 Oct 11, 2010
I don't think asking for a window to let a little sunshine is such a terrible request! Did you bone heads think for a moment that perhaps the students were becoming depressed as well?! Consider working in a room without light coming it... it's hard to think and to be productive. I think the jury made the right decision on this one. Districts are super sneaky and try to get away with a lot all to save a buck. Oh, wait a minute... they wouldn't have lost any money had they just complied with her request!
Thank you, former Somerset teacher for paving the way for others to come forward about their disabilities!!!
Sunny

Brookings, SD

#18 Oct 12, 2010
You are spelling challenged!
blindman wrote:
Don't worry I hear she is running for office, she will fit right in with all are mentaly challenged potical leaders, who you people keep voting in every election!Goooooo Obammuer

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