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Cirkiel & Associates, P.C.

1901 E. Palm Valley Blvd.

Round Rock, Texas 78664

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- Mother Teresa

Representative Cases in Special Education, Mental Health, & Civil Rights

EDUCATION-RELATED CASES

 

E.A. b/n/f L. and P.A. v. Conroe Independent School District

 

Special Education Advocate David Beinke and Attorney Martin Cirkiel argued that the school failed to consider E.'s unique educational needs when developing his Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) so when the parents in frustration sent their child to a private school, deserved reimbursement. The Hearing Officer agreed and ordered CISD to reimburse the family for these outstanding costs, as well as provide other relief.

 

G.B. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. B. v. Sacred Heart Catholic School

 

The firm represented a young man who had a significant propensity to an immunity issue.  His physician determined that if G. received any immunizations it would likely trigger, in him, a negative response, triggering major auto-immune issues.  Because he could not be immunized, the religious school discharged him from the program.  With the support of the family, the firm learned that the school received financial benefit from the United States Department of Agriculture and thus was required to follow the requisites of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  After filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, the religious school relented in their position and offered re-admission to the school.

 

A.C. b/n/f Mr. and Mrs. C. v. Dripping Springs Independent School District

 

A. was an emotionally disturbed young male who got in severe trouble at school, triggering a need for private residential services. The firm represented the family in their efforts to have the school provide transition services to the child upon re-entry into the community and remuneration for privately paid educational and therapeutic services.  The case settled during mediation.

 

C.C. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. C. v. Austin Independent School District

 

C.C. was an emotionally disturbed young man who got in severe trouble at school, triggering an adjudication in the Juvenile Justice System.  The firm represented him at all school related ARD Committee Meetings and Manifestation Hearings, as well as throughout the criminal proceedings.  After a year and half C.C. is ready to re-enter the public school system.  Through the efforts of this young man, his family and Mr. Cirkiel, the charges were dismissed.

 

J.D. b/n/f v. D.D. v. Gatesville Independent School District

 

The firm represented a young man with a learning disability who was incessantly harassed and bullied by other children, while at school.  He and his father parents complained but the school did nothing.  One day a fellow student head-butted J.D. and caused significant injury and neurological damage.  Even after this injury, the school still could not keep him safe from the bullying of another student.  He was injured again. We filed on his behalf a claim against the school, for violations of J.D.’s rights pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and Section 504, requesting damages.  This case settled during mediation. 

 

A.E. b/n/f Major J.E  & Mrs E. v. Katy Independent School District

and his sister’s companion case by the same name

 

The children were receiving specialized services for Autism and their own emotional and educational needs, by and through the Hawaii State Educational Agency, when the Major and family was stationed there.  When ordered State-side and to Texas, he was not able to find educational services commensurate with the IEP that each child had received in Hawaii, at the Katy ISD.  The firm, with the incredible support of David Beinke, represented this incredible family, filing a due process against both the school district and the Texas Educational Agency, for not providing or paying for such necessary services.  The Hearing Officer dismissed the claim against TEA, finding he had no jurisdiction over such a claim.  Fortunately the case against the school settled for a value so that the children could attend a private school, where necessary services would be provided.

 

J.K. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs K. v. Georgetown Independent School District

and companion case,

B.M. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. M. v. GISD 

 

Both students were unable to attend school due to a severe allergic reaction to untreated mold in the school. As such, each were provided home-bound services and no more than a few hours per week, and eventually graduated high school, each moving on to college.  Among numerous violations of IDEA, Beinke and Cirkiel argued that the school had a duty to provide a regular educational day and educational services to the young men, via a webcamera, or similar assistive technology device, as this was their “least restrictive environment.”  The Hearing Officer disagreed, upholding the school’s claim that the provision of educational services through a webcamera, while helpful, was not legally necessary to provide FAPE, especially in light of each student’s success academically.  We disagreed and appealed the case to federal district court, where the Judge, while sympathetic to our argument, sustained the Hearing Officer decision.  We hope to re-litigate this or a similar issue in the future.  As a side note, the school district attempted to have this firm pay all their legal funds (over $150,000), arguing that our case was without merit.  Here the Judge agreed with our position, that an attempt to change established law, is not worthy of the remedies requested by the school.  Also of note is the fact the webcameras could have been installed for about $100 (if you are interested in their usage for home bound services, see this video clip http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=196).

 

H.L. b/n/f Mrs. L. v. Richardson Independent School District

 

H., was a male student with a severe cognitive impairment.  As part of his transition plan he was to go to and from school and work by public transportation.  He suffered significant physical injuries and neurological damages. The firm brought forth a claim pursuant to IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts, asking for damages. This case settled during mediation.

 

R.L. b/n/f R L., Sr. v. The Texas Youth Commission

 

David Beinke, Director of Special Education Services and Advocate argued to the Texas Youth Commission that the school failed to provide an Individual Educational Evaluation. The Hearing Officer agreed and Ordered the relief requested.

 

B.M. b/n/f Mr. M. v. LaGrange Independent School District,

 

B. was an emotionally disturbed young female who got in severe trouble at school, triggering an adjudication in the Juvenile Justice System and need for private residential services.  The firm represented the family in their effort to have the school provide transition services to the child upon re-entry into the community and remuneration for privately paid educational and therapeutic services.  The case settled during mediation.

 

D.M. b/n/f v. Mr. & Mrs. M. v. Round Rock Independent School District

 

The firm represented a young man with an emotional disability who was incessantly harassed and bullied by other children, while at school.  His parents complained but the school did nothing.  One day a few boys befriended him and tricked him into pulling the fire alarm.  The parents met with school officials requesting that there son not be required to return to the school, and with the same other boys, where the incident occurred. They disagreed and the very next day, the same boys befriended D. again and tricked him into starting a small fire on a couch.  He was detained in a juvenile facility and then later required significant residential treatment care.  In the civil administrative proceeding, the parent filed a due process claim against the school, for violations of D.’s rights pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and for reimbursement of significant out-of-pocket expenses.  This case settled during mediation. 

 

D.M. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. M. v. Whitney Independent School District

 

D. was a young male student with autism who was having an emotional problem one morning.  He placed himself behind a bookcase.  In an effort to discipline the young boy his special education teacher, obviously poorly trained, reached behind the bookcase and twisted D.M. shattering his leg and causing him to be in a body cast for month.  He experienced significant regression, severe mental anguish and fear of the school teacher and environment for some time.  The firm, with Mike Kinser as the main Special Education Advocate, has brought forth claims pursuant to IDEA.  It is currently (January 2009) set for due process. We plan to bring claims pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, requesting damages.

 

J.M. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. M. v. Lake Travis Independent School District

 

J. was a five-year old with autism and significant behavioral issues.  The parents had provided substantial private therapeutic services for the child with the hope the school would continue to provide these services, within the context of the special education programs.  Notwithstanding significant private assessments recommending special education services, the school refused.  With Yvonnilda Muniz as Co-Counsel, the firm brought forth a due process claim, arguing the child met the standard for admission to special education.  During the case we learned that the school professionals had destroyed any material developed during the testing procedures, that would have been helpful to the parents position.  In addition, we argued that the district had not followed all necessary procedures regarding “child find,” and completing the child’s FIE.  The Hearing Officer (amazingly) determined that the district deserved deference with there evaluation and found for the district notwithstanding their numerous procedural and substantive violations.  A complaint was filed with the Texas Education Agency, pursuant to FERPA, complaining of the practice of destroying educational records.  TEA referred the case to the Office Of Civil Rights.  As of this writing, we are still awaiting a ruling from OSEP.  Due to the school district’s intransigence, the family moved to a neighboring school district, where J. was easily entered into Special Education services and of course, has benefitted from the provision of such services.  Even though we lost the case we believe our efforts had value in that the child find procedures at the school changed and the Director and Assistant Director of Special Education Services at the school were not retained.

 

M.O. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. O. v. Killeen Independent School District

 

M. was a very young female student who was sexually molested by another child. She experienced severe emotional anguish.  The firm brought forth, with Michael Zimmerman, of the Law Firm of Zimmerman & Villarial, of Waco, Texas, claims pursuant to IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts and a Title IX Claim, requesting damages. This case settled during mediation.   

 

S.P. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. P. v. Conroe Independent School District

 

S., was a female student with special needs who was sexually assaulted by a school police officer. The firm, with Beinke as Advocate and Cirkiel as Co-Counsel with Michael Josephson, Esq. of the Law Firm of Fibich, Hampton & Leebron, L.L.P., in Houston, Texas brought forth claims pursuant to IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts. This case settled during negotiation for services and other value.                                      

 

T.S. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. S. v. Seguin Independent School District

 

T. was a very young male student with Autism who was physically and emotionally abused by his special education teacher. He experienced significant regression and severe mental anguish.  The firm, with Mike Kinser as primary Advocate, brought forth claims pursuant to IDEA and  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, requesting damages.  This case settled during mediation.

 

O.S. b/n/f Mr. & Mrs. S. v. Dallas Independent School District

 

S., was a male student with significant cognitive impairments who was sexually assaulted by a student.  The firm, as Co-Counsel with J.K. Ivey, Of the Law Firm of Rosenthal, Watson, L.L.P., in Austin, Texas brought forth claims pursuant to IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts, requesting damages. This case settled during mediation. 

 

D.S. b/n/f F. and S.S. v. Austin Independent School District

 

David Beinke, Special Education Advocate argued that the school failed to consider Dylan’s unique educational needs by not providing him appropriate reading and writing services. The Hearing Officer agreed and Ordered the relief requested.

 

S.S. b/n/f K.T  v. Conroe Independent School District

 

The firm represented a young female child  with a debilitating and rare medical condition.  After her grandmother started complaining that the school was not following the requisites of the Americans With Disabilities Act, in regard to serving S.S., the school started retaliating against K.T., threatening her with arrest if she came to the campus.  In addition, all of a sudden the school demanded to have their own physician evaluate S.S., even though, and due to her rare condition, only a few doctors in te United State, could even see her.  K.T. refused and litigation ensued.  The firm did not represent the family during the due process but did in the federal suit, arguing that the school did not have an absolute right to conduct their own evaluation, as had previously been set in 5trh Circuit caselaw.  We successfully appealed the case to the 5th Circuit, who accepted our position that the school did not have an absolute right to complete the evaluation, but at the very least, had to show the request was reasonable and necessary, a new standard in the 5th Circuit.

Carmichael, Jon

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

No. 12-11074 

 

A 13-year-old boy named Jon Carmichael killed himself during spring break in 2010. A few days before Jon killed himself, football players at his middle school in the Joshua ISD had attacked him in the locker room, stripped him nude, tied him up, placed him in a trash can, and called him a "fag," "queer," and "homo," while the whole event was videotaped and later posted on YouTube.

 

A teacher stood by as the attack occurred and did nothing to stop it. In fact, several teachers at the school had witnessed Jon being attacked and bullied for months.

 

On almost a daily basis, classmates assaulted him in the locker room and forcibly removed his underwear, shoved him in the hallways, pushed him to the ground on the athletic field, flushed his head in the toilet, or stuffed him into a trash can.

 

But no one stopped it because, in the words of one teacher, "Boys will be boys."

FRAUD AND ABUSE IN THE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL INDUSTRY

Evangeline, et al v. National Medical Enterprises (“NME”), Psychiatric Institutes of America (“PIA”)
 
Cirkiel worked with the Houston Law Firm of Moriarty & Associates, on this mass tort case with over 600 ex-mental health patients suing the  hospital and parent corporations for, among other things, unnecessary admissions and lengths of stay tied to insurance coverage. Confidential Settlement.  
 
Rotella v. Dallas Psychiatric Associates
 
This case was appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court (120 S.Ct 1075- 2/2000).  Mark Rotella was kept in this facility for almost two years during his teenage years. The Law Firm Of Robert Andrews, Fort Worth, Texas and Cirkiel filed suit in federal district court, alleging, among other things that the admission and length of stay was based upon the conspiracy of the Defendant parties, and was thereby a RICO claim.  The case was argued at the 5th Circuit stage and at the Supreme Court by Richard Hogan, with the Law Firm of Hogan & Dubose, Houston, Texas. The full fact pattern and history of this case can be found at the 5th Circuit Appeal Court decision and at the Supreme Court decision.
 
Banner, et al v. NME, PIA and Brookhaven Psychiatric Hospital
 
Again Andrews and Cirkiel teamed up to take on the guilty parties of the largest health care fraud scheme ever in the United States of America.   There were partial and confidential settlements as to part of the claims.
 
 

WRONGFUL DEATH CASES

Charlene Miles, o/b/o the Heirs Of Rochelle Clayborne v. Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Center
 
Rochelle Clayborne was a 16 year old female being held at the Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Facility, San Antonio, Texas when during a RESTRAINT, she died.  With the assistance of the Steve Alduous of the Austin Law Firm of Slack & Davis, LLP, we were able to exact a considerable confidential settlement without filing a lawsuit.  This case was part of a national uproar over the use and abuse of RESTRAINTS, more can be read about this and other similar cases through our “Links” section. 
 
The Heirs of Jesus Torres v. The Texas Department Of MHMR, the Terrell State Hospital et al.
 
Jesus Torres was mistreated by the Department for years, from a relatively healthy person of over 135 pounds, to a person with severe health problems, seizures, parkinsons disease and loss of weight so that upon his death, after and because of an ELECTROCONVULSIVE SHOCK TREATMENT (“ECT”) he was only about 80 pounds.  While he couldn’t read or write English or Spanish, or understand English, the physician nevertheless got Torres to give his “mark” as a consent for the treatment that killed him, all while he kicked and screamed in opposition to the treatment. The case is still pending.
 
Banner, et al v. NME, PIA and Brookhaven Psychiatric Hospital
 
Again Andrews and Cirkiel teamed up to take on the guilty parties of the largest health care fraud scheme ever in the United States of America.   There were partial and confidential settlements as to part of the claims.
 
The Heirs of Macie Stafford v. The Texas Deptartment of MHMR, the Terrell State Hospital et al.
 
All Macie wanted to do was keep his light on at night, but the staff would not permit this.  A totally avoidable and unnecessary disagreement ensued.  It escalated so that Mr. Stafford was forcibly RESTRAINED and administered some medications.  He died at the scene.  Litigation has not yet been filed.
 
B. Colvin o/b/o the Heirs of Adam Wilbanks v. Scott & White Hospital & Central Counties Center For MHMR
 
Adam had just started to turn his life around but was feeling the void of lost friends and bad habits.  He began to feel very depressed and asked the community center to let him go to the Austin State Hospital.  The staff mocked him.  Adam, further disillusioned, went to the local police station where he told them he was receiving command hallucinations to kill himself and his family.  The police took him to Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas.  After being put on suicide watch and given a new medication for depression (he had a history on non-compliance) he was sent home.  A few hours later he put gasoline on himself and lit a match.  In excruciating pain, he died a day later.  Case has been filed.
 
The Heirs Of Conception Kennedy v. Shoalcreek Hospital
 
Ms. Kennedy entered the facility for treatment. While there she allegedly experienced a narcotic overdose. When she was found the staff attempted to implement and activate the “Call” or “Code System,” but it was not functional. In addition, there was no Oxygen or “crash-cart” available on the unit to help Kennedy. As such, staff attempted to give notice to the Head Nurse that there was a medical emergency and that Oxygen was needed immediately, but even the call system was non-functional. When the Head Nurse did finally learned that a patient needed Oxygen, she walked around the hospital looking for the Oxygen, not knowing that time was of the essence. With Austin Attorney, Joe Crews, this case was settled for a confidential amount through negotiation.
 
The Heirs Of Jamye Cox v. Hospital
 
Ms. Cox entered the facility for treatment. While there she was given numerous medications, and at least one which apparently caused her decease. She was supposed to be watched on a regular basis, but was not, during te crucial time-period leading up to her decease. In addition, it appears some of the medical records were changed, for the relevant time period in question. Also, it is alleged that the CODE system was not functioning correctly. The case is currently in litigation.

NEGLECT, ABUSE AND/OR EXPLOITATION IN A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY OR BY A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL

M.J. Floyd, Guardian and o/b/o Edward Floyd v. Laurel Ridge Hospital, Dr. Hugo Hernandez, MD and Dr. Abel Hipolito, MD
 
Mr. and Mrs. Floyd brought their son to this facility looking for some help with the low level depression their 37 year old mentally retarded son was experiencing.  A few days later they came to visit he was black and blue, had a cut lip, bumps on his head and was an emotional wreck.  He could no longer take care of his personal needs.  The  Texas Department of Health investigated the family’s complaints and determined the facility was guilty of abuse and neglect. There also allegations, as of this writing unsubstantiated, that the source of Floyd’s injuries, in part or in whole, was the fault of another patient, a known sexual predator.  
 
John Doe v. Merridell Achievement Center
 
Doe was a 12 year old boy when he was taken off the facility by a mental health worker.  In the van on the way to and from the doctor this male staff person had sex with Doe. After the facility and the police found out, it was determined there had been about five other children who were molested. The case is currently in litigation.
 
E. Sanchez a/n/f of D.G., Jr., a Minor v. Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Center
 
David is deaf and has very primitive signing and communication skills.  While at this facility he was sexually molested by another person, allegedly a member of the facility cleaning staff, who told him if he said anything he would get hurt.  The case is currently in litigation and is co-counsel with Steve Alduous of the Austin Law Firm of Slack & Davis, LLP.
 
T. Acha v. Shoalcreek Hospital, Charter Behavioral Health Center of Austin, TX and Dr. R. Wurtzbaugh, M.D.
 
This case is not filed as of yet.  Acha alleges she was exploited, and had physical contact with her physician while at these facilities and also while he treated her in outpatient settings.  The Texas State Board Of Medical Examiners is currently completing it’s investigation.
 
K. Rodriguez v. Central Counties Center For MHMR Services and G. Bettle
 
Bettle, a licensed professional counselor with the center became emotionally and physically involved with his client, a crime in Texas.  In addition, Bettle made Ms. Rodriguez believe the source of her mental illness and feelings for him, was the devil.  After one treatment at the center, Bettle drove his client home, where she was met with a number of Bettle’s Church members who all attempted to do a “Demon-cleansing” on her.  She later became suicidal and needed extensive inpatient mental health treatment and rehabilitation. The case settled for a confidential amount through negotiation.
 
J. Zuniga v. Laurel Ridge Hospital, Dr. Carmen Llauger-Mier, MD and Hector Hernandez
 
Ms. Zuniga told her physician and the other staff members that Hernandez, another patient who was a known sexual predator, was bothering her and other clients.  Among other things he would masturbate and rub his semen around.  On one occasion Zuniga complained Hernandez attempted to get into her bed when she was sleeping and had physical marks to prove it.  The medical records relate her complaints as “delusional.”  After a complaint to the Texas Department of Health, investigators found the facility was not supervising it’s clients appropriately or providing a safe environment.  This case is currently in litigation.

RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OF CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS

P. Bonilla a/n/f of DB v. NME, PIA and Willowbrook Hospital
 
This young man was admitted and kept in this psychiatric facility, ostensibly for having emotional and behavioral problems.  When he was seen by a professional without a financial interest in his treatment, it was determined he really had a seizure disorder the entire time he was RESTRAINED and otherwise mistreated.  With Robert Andrews and the esteemed law firm of Mithoff & Jacks, Austin & Houston, Texas, the case settled for a considerable confidential amount.
 
Christina Munday-Romaine v. The Provo Canyon School and Charter Medical Corporation
(1995 WL 765398, US District Ct., Northern District, Texas-Fort Worth Division, 1995); Steve Porter (957 FSupp 1427, US District Ct., Northern District-Fort Worth Division, 1995); Craig Harris, et al (15 clients)
 
In these numerous cases Cirkiel, again working with Robert Andrews of Fort Worth, Texas, brought a number of claims against this facility and corporation in federal district court.  The allegations against this facility are mind boggling in the manner and means in which these young people were controlled, mistreated and exploited by the staff.  You can review the facility history by reviewing Milonas v. Williams, 691 F2d 931, US Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 1982).   Part of the cases reached a confidential settlement while other parts of the case were litigated where certain claims were lost on the statute of limitations.  Notwithstanding the lack of major financial success, Cirkiel is proud of taking on this corporation, on behalf of a number of young people who were treated more like animals and criminals that disturbed children.   You can read about these cases at Milonas v. Provo Canyon School, Munday v. Provo Canyon School and Porter v. Provo Canyon School.
 
Lisa Allen v. Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Center
 
Lisa was a young and troubled teenage girl when she was taken far away from home in Indiana, and brought to this facility for treatment.  A litany of abuse and neglect is best described on one occasion when she was thrown from a desk and across the room by a mental health worker.  A beauty mark on her face came off and began to bleed profusely.  After spending some time in seclusion she was forced to clean up her blood with her own toothbrush. This case is in litigation.
 
S. a/n/f of DH, A Minor v. The Texas Department Of MHMR and The Mexia State School
 
DH is a troubled mentally retarded young man.  Staff, unable to cope with DH’s problems forced him down during a physical RESTRAINT. During this instance his arm was twisted and broken.  This case has not been filed yet.
 
D.H. a/n/f of PH, A Minor v. Laurel Ridge Residential Treatment Center
 
Only six years old at the time, PH really only wanted to see her mommy.  A staff member thought she was acting out and decided this young girl required RESTRAINT.  During the process her arm was broken.  She received no medical treatment until her mother came to the facility and complained.   This case has not been filed as of this writing. 
 
Jack Tarver v. NME, PIA, Brookhaven Hospital and Dallas Psychiatric Associates
 
When Jack was only twelve years old his parents were going through a divorce and quite naturally, Jack was deeply affected.  Yet unfortunately, his parents had great medical coverage, with almost unlimited psychiatric benefits.  Jack spent the next three years of his life, of an almost uninterrupted period without freedom, in inpatient mental hospitals and residential treatment centers.  Only when the benefits ran out, and the trauma of his institutionalization fully imprinted in his consciousness, Jack began the lengthy process of healing.  With Robert Andrews, and the esteemed Law Firm of Hampton & Young of Houston, Texas, this case is currently in litigation. 
 
Marguerita Ash v. Dr. Ingrid Schmidt, M.D.
 
Ms. Ash was in the midst of a very difficult and vexatious divorce, with a divisive child custody dispute, when she began to see Dr. Schmidt for psychiatric services.  Marguerita’s husband told the physician that she was dangerous to herself and the child, so Schmidt, without completing a legally required medical examinations, nevertheless filed papers to have Ms. Ash picked up by the police and bought to the Austin State Hospital.  She released after a real examination.  The case has been filed.
 
 

GUARDIANSHIP, PROBATE & FAMILY

Al & Cindy Doop, Individually and on behalf of their children v. TDFPS

 

In this cause CPS removed the children from their parents, based upon the thinnest of rationale. The Doop’s brought forth a civil case against the Department when they found out that the child-care workers had lied to the Judge and even the County Attorney, who represented them. In filing suit with the esteemed civil rights attorney from Dallas, Frank Hernandez, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the workers were immune from civil suit. It nevertheless set a precedent both locally and within the circuit, as to what actions were constitutionally infirm as to CPS caseworkers.

 

In The Interest Of Adriana & Rachel Faith H., Children and Sarah H. v. TDFPS

 

Sarah H. was a brilliant person who also suffered from sever bipolar disorder. When she became pregnant she stopped taking her prescribed medications and unfortunately, became severely mentally ill. She had to enter the state hospital for treatment and CPS removed the children. We counter-sued the department arguing that the plan provided to Sarah did not account for her mental disability, thereby violating the ADA. The case settled during negotiations.

 

Brad Johnson v. TDFPS
 
In this case the department made an initial finding that he had physically and emotionally abused his sons. They later determined that they did not have enough evidence to determine he had in fact injured his children, but would not “rule out,” that any abuse had occurred at all. Johnson attempted to use the department’s administrative review process to have the finding reviewed, but they refused. He filed suit in district court arguing the department’s flawed review system, violated due process. The case is currently in litigation. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kathy Andrews v. Apple Computing Corporation

 

Ms. Andrews had been an employee of Apple Computing, when she was laid off after experiencing severe depression. A short while later she was rehired but then was precipitously, and with no reason permanently terminated. The case has been filed in Federal District Court.

 

Sal Del Angel v. Clark Winters, et al.

 

Sal worked for this local law firm as a technician for their data and computer resources. One day, he was returning from working at another office and was hit by a driver. He suffered significant neurological impairment and required extensive rehabilitation. Eventually the firm terminated his employment, Sal alleging that the firm never making the necessary accommodations so that he could remain at work. Del Angel sued the firm pursuant to the ADA. The case settled in negotiation.

 

D.D. v. Charter Behavioral Health Center of Austin, Texas and Charter Medical Corporation

 

DD was a rehabilitation therapist at the facility when she was terminated after assisting a patient in filing a patient rights complaint against an employee. The case settled after suit was filed.

 

Anthony G. v. Dell Computer Corp.

 

Anthony was a brilliant employee who had a significant case of Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Dell refused to make necessary accommodation so that he could continue in his employment. The case settled through mediation.

 

Patty Kennedy v. 3927 Foundation, Austin Manor and Anderson Lane Nursing Home, et al.

 

Ms. Kennedy is a Licensed Master Social Worker- Advanced Clinical Practitioner who reported to the Texas Department of Health and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services that their may have been abuse or neglect at the facility. A few weeks later Patty was let go by the facility. A case was filed for retaliatory discharge.

 

Miller v. Texas Tech University

 

This was a case where Miller, a professor who was vision impaired, did not have her disability appropriately accommodated by the university. She brought suit pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In this case Cirkiel authored the Amicus Brief for the Coalition Of Texas With Disabilities. The case was finally heard before the 54th Circuit Court of Appeals who determined that the university was required to satisfy the requisites of the Rehab Act, and if they did not, could be held liable, civilly.

 

The Heirs Of Gabriela Rector v. Austin Independent School District
 
Ms. Rector was an elderly member of the local community. While at a school event she fell and experienced significant injuries. Apparently, AISD did not construct certain guardrails correctly. The case is currently in litigation.
 
 
 
 
 
 

The State of Texas v. Doil Lane, A Mentally Retarded Person

 

This is case of a mentally retarded man who is on death row in Texas for crimes, he did not apparently commit. At trial his conviction was predicated upon his confession, and the confession of a so-called accomplice, who was more mentally retarded than Doil. Cirkiel wrote part of the habeas corpus brief, maintaining, among other things, that Lane’s rights were violated under the ADA, by not receiving a reasonable accommodation during the entire process. Recently his death penalty was commuted to a life sentence.

 

The State of Texas v. Darren M., A Minor

 

Darren was a young man with an emotional disability who was incessantly harassed and bullied by other children, while at school. His parents complained but the school did nothing. One day a few boys befriended Darren, and tricked him into pulling the fire alarm. The parents met with school officials requesting that there son not be required to return to the school, and with the same other boys, where the incident occurred. They disagree and the very next day, the same boys befriended Darren again and tricked him into starting a small fire on a couch. He was detained in a juvenile facility and then later required significant residential treatment care. In the civil administrative proceeding, the parent filed a due process claim against the school, for violations of Darren’s rights pursuant to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. This part of the case settled during mediation. When the criminal case was heard in Juvenile Court the Judge affixed restitution against the parents for over $100,000, who argued that this amount was unfair, due to the fact the child was in the care and custody of the school at the time of the incident, and they did not even him want him returned there. The restitution issue was appealed and the rights and duties of parents were better clarified by the Third Court of Appeals. The school and the family later agreed to a more reasonable settlement through the negotiation process. 

 

 

 

 

 

DS Construction

 

When two hard working men were getting “stiffed” by a contractor, they came to Cirkiel & Associates to help them receive their just compensation.

 

The City of Lago Vista, Texas v. Pirmantgen

 

When the Pirmantgen’s received a criminal citation from the City for a unconstitutionally vague zoning issue, they came to our firm to help them take on “City Hall.”  The case settled with the parties agreeing to the appropriate waivers.

 

Joanne Hyslop v. WalMart Pharmacy, Marble Falls, Texas

 

On one occasion Ms. Hyslop received the wrong medications from the WalMart pharmacy. She complained. Even after this report, WalMart continued in their lax procedures and negligent staffing. Joanne again received the wrong medications. After the second occasion she unknowingly took the wrong medications for almost a week. She did not suffer major physical injuries, but has courageously taken on this behemoth, hoping that her lawsuit will help WalMart make the changes required so this does not occur again with more dire consequences.

 

The Families Of The St. John’s Neighborhood, Austin, Texas

 

Cirkiel & Associates represented 14 families with over 70 family members, in an eminent domain dispute with the Austin Independent School District and City of Austin. Our firm was able to procure an increased appraisal amount for each family, arrange for some of the families to sell their home, months before they had to move, so that they lived rent or payment free for up to four months. We also helped these wonderful people relocate to their new homes. We worked diligently on their behalf of these families so that they received full relocation benefits and services. Importantly, all this and more occurred without any legal costs to the families.

 

Peggy & David Rodriguez v. The Round Rock Independent School District

 

Mr. & Mrs. Rodriguez have lived in their home for close to thirty years and owned it outright when they became embroiled in a dispute with the school district over taxes. When they attempted to pay for part of the disputed amount the district refused, requiring them to pay the full amount. We filed a case in state district court for violations of their numerous constitutional rights, in that the district violated their due process rights by requiring them to pay all the past tax amount, while permitting other to make partial payments. Also, Mr. Rodriguez is deaf and does not read or write English. The litigation in this case started in 1998. As of 2008 they are still living in their home.

 

Donna Singh

 

Donna is a bright and dignified Afro-American female, who merely wanted her apartment fixed and brought up to code so that her granddaughter and mentally retarded grandson lived in a safe and healthy place. The owner of the apartment complex refused to fix up the apartment, due to, and among other things, Ms. Singh’s race. After filing in Federal Court his case settled for a confidential amount at mediation.

 

TexasStock and Kevin Vandivier v. Texas Monthly

 

Kevin is a renowned photographer who took the famous picture of the former Governor Ann Richards sitting on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, Texas Monthly did not pay Kevin or his partner for the various usages of the picture after the initial agreement. To add insult to injury Texas Monthly did not give Kevin full credit for taking the pictures as well. This case was recently filed in Federal District Court in Austin, Texas.

 

Blanca and Juan Vallejo v. Winkle and the Walley Land Trust

 

In this case, Mr. and Mrs. Vallejo were defrauded by Winkle, then a licensed realtor. The firm brought suit in the local strict court and won, yet it was appealed by Winkle, all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court. While he was bankrupt, the family was able to have their losses mitigated by a special fund administered by the Texas Real Estate Commission, for unscrupulous agents.

 

 

 

EMPLOYMENT, WHISTLEBLOWER AND AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT CASES

CRIMINAL JUSTICE, JUVENILE LAW AND MITIGATION REPORTS

HOUSING AND MISCELLANEOUS LITIGATION

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