Therapy trainee’s ADA suit against hospital, Ivy Tech proceeds

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A lawsuit against Henry County Memorial Hospital and Ivy Tech Community College will proceed after a judge ruled in favor of a woman who claims her termination from a clinical training session violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Angela Seward was an A student in the Ivy Tech physical therapy assisting program, having completed two of three clinical training sessions, according to the record in her case. Despite earning high marks in her third and final clinical session at Henry Memorial’s rehabilitation services department in New Castle, she was terminated two weeks before it was scheduled to end. She therefore could not complete the program just weeks ahead of scheduled graduation or sit for the state physical therapist assistant licensing exam.

In her suit, Seward claims she was confronted by her clinical instructor, Allison Stroud, and another therapist just days after Seward said she confided to another student that earlier in her life she had struggled with depression and self-esteem issues. Seward was terminated from the program after the confrontation.

Judge William T. Lawrence on Wednesday denied motions to dismiss from the hospital and Ivy Tech.  
“Seward alleges that her history of depression and self-esteem issues are mental impairments that interfere with the proper functioning of her neurological system and thus constitute a disability within the definition of the ADA and that each of the Defendants is a public entity within the meaning of the ADA. She also alleges that each Defendant receives federal funding,” Lawrence wrote.

“Further, Seward has alleged that she has a disability of which the Defendants were aware and that the Defendants denied her the ability to participate in the clinical rotation and thus complete the PTAP because of that disability. She also alleges that Ivy Tech refused to make a reasonable accommodation that would allow her to complete the PTAP. Thus, Seward has alleged sufficient facts, which must be accepted as true at this juncture, to state a valid ADA claim against the Defendants.”

Henry Community Health declined to comment because the lawsuit is ongoing.

The case is Angela Seward v. Henry County Memorial Hospital, et al., 1:16-cv-1703.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.