United States District Court, N.D. California
K.H., a minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem MARTARICE HUMPHREY, Plaintiff,
ANTIOCH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, a public entity; CATAPULT LEARNING WEST, LLC, a limited liability company dba Sierra School of Antioch; SAMUEL MCBRIDE, an individual; JONIQUE ANDREWS, an individual; STEVE NOSANCHUK, an individual; BRUNO DIAZ, an individual; CORY MOORE, an individual; RUTH RUBALCAVA, an individual; STEPHANIE ANELLO, an individual; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS TO
DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil rights action, defendants move to dismiss parts of the
amended complaint. To the extent set forth below,
defendants' motions are Granted in part and Denied in
following facts, assumed to be true for purposes of the
present motion, are taken from the amended complaint (Dkt.
No. 36). Plaintiff K.H. is a fourteen-year-old student with
special needs enrolled in the special education program at
Antioch Unified School District
The federal government provides approximately ten percent of
AUSD's funding. AUSD placed plaintiff in Sierra School, a
private school specialized in providing special education,
operated by defendant Catapult Learning West, LLC
(“Catapult”). Catapult is an independent
for-profit limited liability company that specializes in
special education. AUSD and Catapult jointly run Sierra
School. Employees from both AUSD and Catapult make up the
staff at Sierra School. Defendant Bruno Diaz is the Director
of Sierra School. Defendant Cory Moore is the Administrator
of Sierra School. Defendant Ruth Rubalcava is the Director of
Special Education for AUSD (id. ¶¶ 1-3, 5,
10-12, 26-27). At oral argument, all parties conceded that
AUSD, on its own, evaluated plaintiff, decided to place him
in a special-education program, and selected Sierra School.
December 2017, plaintiff requested and received permission
from his teacher, defendant Steve Nosanchuk, to remove
himself from the classroom to use calming techniques which
were part of plaintiff's behavior-intervention training.
Defendant Samuel McBride, a teacher aide at Sierra School,
then saw plaintiff outside the classroom, roughly grabbed him
by the shirt, and pulled him toward the classroom. McBride
asked defendant Jonique Andrews, another employee at Sierra
School, to assist. Andrews grabbed plaintiff by the wrist,
forcibly placed his hands behind his back, and held him by
the back of his neck. McBride forcibly held plaintiff's
other hand behind his back as McBride and Andrews escorted
plaintiff back to class. When plaintiff asked Andrews to let
go of his neck, Andrews coldly laughed in response
(id. ¶¶ 28-32, 36).
back in the classroom and after McBride and Andrews had
released their holds, plaintiff said something to the effect
of “let go of me” or “get off me.” In
response, McBride and Andrews “slammed” plaintiff
to the floor causing his head to crash into a desk before
hitting the floor. McBride and Andrews then placed plaintiff
into a “two-person pro-act prone restraint, ”
which the United States Department of Education recommends
not be used under any circumstance. McBride and Andrews
immobilized all four of plaintiff's limbs. Plaintiff left
the incident with a gash under his eye, a split lip, and
bleeding gums (id. at 9 n.1, ¶¶ 33-34).
did not offer medical attention, call plaintiff's
parents, or report the incident to the authorities. When
plaintiff's father picked plaintiff up from school a few
hours later, he noticed the injury on plaintiff's face.
Plaintiff's father asked Nosanchuk what had happened and
why he hadn't been informed. Nosanchuk informed
plaintiff's father that the incident had “just
happened.” Plaintiff's parents filed a request for
assistance with AUSD. Plaintiff's parents filed a second
request for assistance after receiving no response to the
first request. Defendant Stephanie Anello, the Superintendent
of AUSD, informed plaintiff's mother that no response had
been given because plaintiff's mother failed to complete
the proper form. Plaintiff's mother then submitted the
correct form. (id. ¶¶ 34, 36, 46, 48).
after the incident plaintiff was diagnosed with a concussion.
Because plaintiff experienced fear and anxiety related to the
incident, and thus felt unsafe to return to school,
plaintiff's parents requested that AUSD provide an
alternative placement and to allow for independent study in
the meantime. AUSD concluded that Sierra School was an
appropriate placement and denied both requests (id.
¶¶ 40, 43-45).
February 2018, after consulting a law firm, AUSD concluded
that no assault had occurred. AUSD informed plaintiff's
parents that no additional protection would be provided to
plaintiff. McBride and Andrews were still employed at Sierra
School. Accordingly, plaintiff's parents kept plaintiff
from returning to school because they feared for his safety.
Plaintiff requested that AUSD move plaintiff to a different
school and offered three options. AUSD denied all three
requests, stating that plaintiff was not a good fit for the
other schools. Defendants sent plaintiff a “Compromise
and Release Agreement” that offered to grant the
alternative placement in exchange for release from all
liability (id. ¶¶ 49-50, 52, 54-55).
complaint alleges the following twelve claims: (1) violation
of Section 1983;
discrimination in violation of the Americans With
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132;
discrimination in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794;
negligence; (5) negligent hiring, supervision, or retention
of employee; (6) battery;
discrimination in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act,