rvp-yelling-at-refIn its May 2, 2017 decision in Koester v. Young Men’s Christian Assn. of Greater St. Louis, 855 F.3d 908, 909 (8th Cir. 2017) the Eighth Circuit casually suggested that the “interactive process” does not apply to accommodation requests under Title III of the ADA. It sidestepped the issue in the end, but wrote that it approached a claim based on a failure of the process with a “a healthy dose of skepticism that these concepts are applicable in this Title III case.” As authority it dropped a footnote to its earlier decision, Mershon v. St. Louis U., 442 F.3d 1069, 1078 (8th Cir. 2006). In Mershon the Court expressed doubt that the interactive process applied to a claim in an academic setting, referring in turn to the decision in Stern v. U. of Osteopathic Med. and Health Scis., 220 F.3d 906, 909 (8th Cir. 2000).  The Stern case did not include any expression of doubt; only a recognition that the question was unresolved: “Even if such an interactive process is required in an academic setting. . . .” This time the authority cited was a lower court decision, Guckenberger v. Boston U., 974 F. Supp. 106, 142 (D. Mass. 1997). In Guckenberger, oddly enough, the Court assumed that an interactive process was required by Title III, but found that the system in place at the defendant university was sufficiently interactive.

More


FacebookTwitterEmailShare