Court grants class certification in suit against New York Department of Education on behalf of students with diabetes.
On June 18, 2019, United States District Judge Nina Gershon, of the Eastern District of New York, certified a class defined as:
All students with diabetes who are now or will be entitled to receive diabetes related care and attend New York City Department of Education schools.
The case, M.F., et al. v. The New York City Department of Education, et al., was brought by the parents of three New York City public school students with diabetes and the American Diabetes Association, suing as an organizational plaintiff on behalf of its members who who include children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who attend New York City Department of Education (DOE) schools and their parents.
Popper & Yatvin partner Alan L. Yatvin is counsel for the American Diabetes Association, along with Sarah Fech-Baughman, Director of Litigation at the Association. The federal class action lawsuit filed on November 1, 2018, alleges that the New York City public schools routinely deny students with diabetes necessary services, even excluding them from some school activities altogether, in clear violation of their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the New York City Human Rights Law. The suit was brought to address systemic failures, to ensure that students with diabetes can attend school safely and have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages. Rather, the lawsuit seeks an immediate overhaul of the DOE’s systemic policies and practices governing the delivery of diabetes-related care to ensure that all students with diabetes receive appropriate care and can participate in all school programs.
In granting class certification, Judge Gershon concluded that the three children and their parents, along with the American Diabetes Association, met the requirements for class representatives and sufficiently represented the class of approximately 2000 students with diabetes in DOE schools. As a result, she appointed the families and the American Diabetes Association as class representatives. Yatvin’s co-counsel, attorneys for Disability Rights Advocates, were appointed class counsel.
Alan L. Yatvin is a former national chair of legal advocacy for the Association, and a former member of the Association’s national board of directors. He is a co-author of Diabetes Care in the School Setting: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association and Care of Young Children With Diabetes in the Child Care Setting: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association, both of which were published in the journal Diabetes Care. He frequently represents students with diabetes and their parents and speaks on the rights of students with diabetes to groups of parents, medical professionals, lawyers, educators and legislators.