The Merman Law Firm files HIV Discrimination Case

HIV Discrimination Case Filed in Houston, Texas

Civil Rights Lawyer Derek Merman tackles HIV Discrimination under the ADA

HOUSTON (October 11, 2012) – Derek Merman, the lead trial attorney in the largest individual civil-rights verdict in Texas history, has filed an HIV discrimination suit against a Houston school alleging discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Mr. Merman alleges in his complaint filed in Federal District Court in Houston that his client was denied admission to Smithwood Medical Institute because he is HIV positive. The ADA protects individuals with disabilities, including those who are HIV+, from discrimination in employment, education and public accommodations.

“There is no legitimate excuse for a school to deny admission to a student solely because he or she is HIV positive. Discrimination based on unfounded assumptions, unwarranted fears, prejudice and stereotypes has no place in civilized society. We must defend our civil rights and work together to stamp out unfair prejudice and discrimination or our civil rights will erode away to nothing.”

The suit asks for an injunction requiring Smithwood Medical Institute to institute HIV education and training and stop discriminating against HIV+ applicants as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“I applaud my client for continuing to try to improve himself and the world around him despite his grave illness. My client was devastated by the way he was treated by the Director of the Smithwood Medical Institute – he has been through enough and did not deserve to be treated that way. As a trainer and healthcare provider, the Director of Smithwood should have known better. We will hold them accountable and send a message that we will not tolerate this type of discrimination.”

About The Merman Law Firm

The Merman Law Firm specializes in civil rights and personal injury trial law.  Mr. Merman won the largest individual civil-rights verdict in Texas history in 2011 of over sixteen million dollars involving an assault at the Jefferson County Jail.  He has argued civil rights before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and has a civil rights case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more about the story: http://setexasrecord.com/news/275707-houston-man-says-school-denied-him-admission-because-he-has-hiv