United States District Court, D. Colorado
Brooke Jackson United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on defendants' motion to
dismiss. ECF No. 18. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS
that motion and dismisses plaintiff Taylor Profita's suit
Taylor Profita is a former student at the University of
Colorado School of Medicine (“the University”).
Compl., ECF No. 13, at ¶13. By all indications, prior to
the events giving rise to this suit, Mr. Profita was a
successful student. Id. at ¶¶14-15.
However, in the fall of 2011 plaintiff was placed on academic
probation after failing two clinical rotations in what was
his fourth year of study. Id. at ¶¶18-20. He
alleges that the reason for his failing these two courses was
worsening depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
Id. at ¶17. These conditions appear to be a
result of what plaintiff alleges is underlying Major
Depressive Disorder (“MDD”), Unspecified Anxiety
Disorder (“UAD”), chronic insomnia/sleep apnea,
and hypothyroidism. Id. at ¶9.
failing those rotations, plaintiff received a letter from the
University explaining to him that he could return to the
school in academic good standing if he retook and passed
those courses. Id. at ¶21. However, the letter
also notified plaintiff that the school's Student
Promotions Committee had voted to require him to undergo an
evaluation by the Colorado Physicians Health Program prior to
his return. Id. at ¶24. Plaintiff subsequently
received a psychiatric evaluation per the University's
request, which found that plaintiff has “symptoms that
would suggest a mood syndrome . . . disabling anxiety
disorder . . . [and] psychotic disorder.” Id.
denies these symptoms. See, e.g., id.at
¶¶27, 29. Instead, he explains that the doctor who
evaluated him did not recognize or understand his previous
diagnoses, including those for MDD and UAD. Id. at
¶27. In any event, after his psychiatric evaluation
plaintiff resumed his studies, reenrolling in one of the two
clinical rotations he had earlier failed. Id. at
¶29. He subsequently failed again. Id. After
this second failure, the University dismissed plaintiff from
the school for “unsatisfactory academic
performance” per the school's dismissal policy.
Id. at ¶33. That policy allegedly states,
however, that while the final decision of dismissal for this
reason resides with the Dean of the University,
“exceptions may be made on the basis of particular
circumstances.” Id. at ¶37.
alleges that after his dismissal from school he began working
on his psychological issues with professional help.
Id. at ¶38. He contends that he has improved
his symptoms greatly. See Id. at ¶44. Desiring
the opportunity to return to school to finish his degree,
plaintiff sent the University a letter in September of 2016
requesting that he be readmitted and granted credits for the
work he already successfully completed. Id. at
¶39. The University denied his request. Id. at
¶52. It nevertheless notified plaintiff that it was also
University policy to allow dismissed students to reapply as
new students to start school afresh as first-year medical
students. Id. at ¶54.
rejected the University's offer to reapply as a new
student, choosing instead to file suit against the school,
Dr. John Reilly (the school's dean), and the University
regents in this Court on December 12, 2016. See generally
Id. In his complaint, plaintiff alleges that by denying
him the opportunity to reenroll at the University where he
left off, defendants failed to “reasonably
accommodate” his “disability” in violation
of several provisions of Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. ¶ 12132,
et seq. See Id. at ¶¶55-92. He asks that this
Court declare that defendants violated Title II by refusing
to readmit him, and subsequently enjoin them from continuing
to deny him that opportunity. See Id. A few weeks
after plaintiff filed suit, defendants moved to dismiss
plaintiff's complaint on January 26, 2017. ECF No. 18.
Defendants' motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for
STANDARD OF REVIEW
survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint must
contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Ridge at Red Hawk,
L.L.C. v. Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177 (10th Cir.
2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A plausible claim is a claim that
“allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). While
the Court must accept the well-pleaded allegations of the
complaint as true and construe them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, Robbins v. Wilkie, 300
F.3d 1208, 1210 (10th Cir. 2002), conclusory allegations are
not entitled to be presumed true, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
681. However, so long as the plaintiff offers sufficient
factual allegations such that the right to relief is raised
above the speculative level, he has met the threshold
pleading standard. See, e.g., Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556; Bryson v. Gonzales, 534 F.3d 1282, 1286
(10th Cir. 2008).
contend that by requesting that the University readmit him as
a fourth-year medical student, the relief plaintiff requested
and now seeks here amounts to “excusal” for his
prior poor academic performance. ECF No. 18 at 4. They
subsequently argue that his claim for readmission must be
dismissed because a request for such relief has been rejected
as a “reasonable accommodation” by the Tenth
Circuit in other ADA contexts. Id. Plaintiff
responds that he is not asking for defendants to
retroactively excuse his past performance. Pl.'s Resp.,
ECF No. 20, at 2. Rather, he argues that his request was for
defendants to grant him a variance per the terms of
University's dismissal policy and that, framed in this
way, his relief is prospective. Id. I agree with
defendants. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS defendants'
motion to dismiss and dismisses the entirety of
plaintiff's suit with prejudice.