On October 18, 2013, three weeks after hearing oral argument, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit handed down its decision in favor of the South Callaway R-II School District in the case of B.M. v. Sought Callaway R-II School District. In this case, B.M., a student of the District and his parents asserted claims against the District pursuant to the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, alleging that the District had discriminated against the student by failing to timely identify his disability and failing to accommodate him. In a unanimous opinion, the Court confirmed the bad faith/gross misjudgment standard for Section 504 cases in the Eighth Circuit as set forth in Monahan v. Nebraska, 687 F.2d 1164 (8th Cir. 1992), and found that in light of the “District’s persistent efforts to aid [the student], no reasonable jury could conclude that the delays in accommodating him resulted from bad faith or gross misjudgment by the District.”
Betsey Helfrich, Ernie Trakas, and Teri Goldman worked on this case for the District. Betsey Helfrich argued this matter before the Eighth Circuit.