Florida Record

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

U.S. court dismisses ADA, RA claims against Ross University Medical School

Lawsuits

By Marian Johns | Jun 28, 2019

Justicescale

FORT LAUDERDALE — The four remaining claims of a lawsuit filed against Ross University Medical School, a Barbados university with administrative offices in Miramar, alleging Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act (RA) violations have been thrown out by a federal court. 

According to the June 18 U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division filing, the court reviewed the responses from the plaintiff Oluwamuyiwa Awodiya and the defendant Ross University School of Medicine for its omnibus order regarding whether Title III ADA and RA would apply extraterritorially to the case and the impact of those claims. 

Oluwamuyiwa, a former medical student, filed suit alleging he failed the school's required comprehensive basic science exam (COMP) five times because Ross University did not comply with his accommodations request for additional "test-taking time" under the ADA and RA. Oluwamuyiwa argues his test failure resulted in his dismissal from the school despite the school alleging on its website that it "complies" with the ADA.

The court reviewed the four remaining counts in Oluwamuyiwa's complaint which include failure to accommodate under the RA and ADA, fraudulent inducement and negligent misrepresentation. 

The court concluded that "the only relevant acts" taking place in the U.S. was Oluwamuyiwa's attempts to take the COMP exam for the second through fifth times which are not administered by Ross University with U.S. District Judge Roy Altman ruling that the ADA and RA do not apply extraterritorially. 

Altmam also noted that the "alleged discriminatory decision" to not allow Oluwamuyiwa more time on the test had already been made in Dominica by the time he took the test. He also noted that Oluwamuyiwa could not show evidence that the university had summarily denied ADA accommodation requests when it posted its compliance statement on its website relating to his negligent misrepresentation claim while dismissing the four claims with prejudice.

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