Student with Autism Wins Special Education Benefits

February 17, 2017

On February 17, 2017, Cleary Gottlieb successfully settled a claim brought against the New York City Department of Education on behalf of M.H., a student with autism, and his parents.

Cleary has represented M.H. and his parents pro bono since 2011. This year, the DOE promptly agreed to settle the matter, offering M.H.’s parents full tuition reimbursement for the cost of attendance at the school of their choice for the summer of 2016 and the 2016-2017 school year.

In their 10-day notice letter, M.H.’s parents alleged that the DOE failed to provide M.H. with a free and appropriate public education as required under state and federal law by failing to offer him a school placement that fits his needs. This is the sixth claim that M.H.’s parents have made in as many years due to the DOE’s consistent failure to comply with the law regarding M.H.’s education. As a result of the DOE’s failure, M.H.’s parents, for the sixth year, unilaterally placed M.H. in a private school appropriate for his needs and sought reimbursement for the cost of his tuition from the DOE.