767 F.3d 247 (3rd Cir. 2014), 11-4200, Blunt v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist.

Docket Nº:11-4200, 11-4201, 11-4315
Citation:767 F.3d 247
Opinion Judge:GREENBERG, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:AMBER BLUNT, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated; CRYSTAL BLUNT; MICHAEL BLUNT, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; S.H.; W.W.; ERIC ALLSTON, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYDIA JOHNSON, on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LINDA JOHN
Attorney:Patrick Castaneda, Matthew A. Goldberg, Carl W. Hittinger (argued), John D. Huh, Lesli C. Esposito, Nathan P. Heller, DLA Piper, Philadelphia, PA, Attorneys for Appellants Linda Johnson, Lydia Johnson, Carol Durrell, Chantae Hall, S.H., Christine Dudley, W.W., Eric Allston, June Coleman, R.C., Ly...
Judge Panel:BEFORE: MCKEE, Chief Judge, and AMBRO and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges. AMBRO, Circuit Judge, concurring. McKee, Chief Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part. CONCUR BY: AMBRO; McKee (In Part) AMBRO, Circuit Judge, concurring McKee, Chief Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
Case Date:September 12, 2014
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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767 F.3d 247 (3rd Cir. 2014)

AMBER BLUNT, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated; CRYSTAL BLUNT; MICHAEL BLUNT, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; S.H.; W.W.; ERIC ALLSTON, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYDIA JOHNSON, on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LINDA JOHNSON; CAROL DURRELL, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter S.H.; CHANTAE HALL, and on behalf of all others similarly situated; JUNE COLEMAN, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor son, R.C., and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYNDA MUSE, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter Q.G. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; CHRISTINE DUDLEY, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter W.W. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; THE CONCERNED BLACK PARENTS OF MAINLINE INC; THE MAINLINE BRANCH OF THE NAACP

v.

LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT; THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL BOARD; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Linda Johnson, Lydia Johnson, Carol Durell, Chantae Hall, S.H., Christine Dudley, W.W. Eric Allston, June Coleman, R.C. Lynda Muse, and Q.G., Appellants in No. 11-4200. AMBER BLUNT, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated; CRYSTAL BLUNT; MICHAEL BLUNT, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; S.H.; W.W.; ERIC ALLSTON, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYDIA JOHNSON, on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LINDA JOHNSON; CAROL DURRELL, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter S.H.; CHANTAE HALL, and on behalf of all others similarly situated; JUNE COLEMAN, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor son, R.C., and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYNDA MUSE, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter Q.G. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; CHRISTINE DUDLEY, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter W.W. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; THE CONCERNED BLACK PARENTS OF MAINLINE INC; THE MAINLINE BRANCH OF THE NAACP

v.

LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT; THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL BOARD; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Amber Blunt, Crystal Blunt, Michael Blunt and Concerned Black Parents of Mainline Inc., Appellants in No. 11-4201. AMBER BLUNT, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated; CRYSTAL BLUNT; MICHAEL BLUNT, on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; S.H.; W.W.; ERIC ALLSTON, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYDIA JOHNSON, on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LINDA JOHNSON; CAROL DURRELL, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter S.H.; CHANTAE HALL, and on behalf of all others similarly situated; JUNE COLEMAN, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor son, R.C., and on behalf of all others similarly situated; LYNDA MUSE, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter Q.G. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; CHRISTINE DUDLEY, on her own behalf and on behalf of her minor daughter W.W. and on behalf of all others similarly situated; THE CONCERNED BLACK PARENTS OF MAINLINE INC; THE MAINLINE BRANCH OF THE NAACP

v.

LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT; THE LOWER MERION SCHOOL BOARD; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Lower Merion School District, Appellant in No. 11-4315

Nos. 11-4200, 11-4201, 11-4315

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

September 12, 2014

Argued June 11, 2013

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On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. Civ. No. 2-07-03100). District Judge: Hon. Harvey Bartle, III.

Patrick Castaneda, Matthew A. Goldberg, Carl W. Hittinger (argued), John D. Huh, Lesli C. Esposito, Nathan P. Heller, DLA Piper, Philadelphia, PA, Attorneys for Appellants Linda Johnson, Lydia Johnson, Carol Durrell, Chantae Hall, S.H., Christine Dudley, W.W., Eric Allston, June Coleman, R.C., Lynda Muse, and Q.G.

Jennifer R. Clarke (argued), Benjamin D. Geffen, Sonja D. Kerr, Barbara E. Ransom, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Judith A. Gran, Reisman, Carolla & Gran, Haddonfield, NJ, Attorneys for Appellants Amber Blunt, Crystal Blunt, Michael Blunt and the Concerned Black Parents of Mainline Inc.

Jenna B. Berman, Michael D. Kristofco (argued), Wisler Pearlstine, Blue Bell, PA, Attorneys for Appellees Lower Merion School District and Lower Merion School Board.

Amy C. Foerster, Saul Ewing, Harrisburg, PA; M. Abbegael Giunta, Howard G. Hopkirk (argued), Office of Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA, Attorneys for Appellee Pennsylvania Department of Education.

BEFORE: MCKEE, Chief Judge, and AMBRO and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges. AMBRO, Circuit Judge, concurring. McKee, Chief Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

OPINION

Page 254

GREENBERG, Circuit Judge.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION
II. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
III. STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION
IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW
V. ISSUES PRESENTED ON APPEAL
VI. SUMMARY OF THE LAW
A. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
B. Redress and the Statute of Limitations under the IDEA
C. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
D. 42 U.S.C. § 1983
E. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Relevant Regulations of the
Department of Education
F. Americans with Disabilities Act
G. Establishing a Prima Facie Case of Racial Discrimination Through
Circumstantial Evidence
H. Class Actions and Res Judicata (Claim Preclusion) Defenses
1. Claim Preclusion
2. Application of Res Judicata (Claim Preclusion) in Class Actions
I. Standing
VII. ANALYSIS
A. The Effect of the Gaskin Settlement on the Claims Against the PDE
B. Whether CBP Has Standing in this suit
C. The Blunts and the 90-day Statute of Limitations under the IDEA, as
Revised by the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004
D. Whether Appellants Established a Prima Facie Case of Racial Discrimination
1. Rejection of Certain Evidence by the District Court and Alleged
Impermissible Reliance on Other Evidence Without a Daubert Hearing
a. The MAP Presentation
b. Daniel Reschley's Report
2. Whether the District Court Properly Viewed the Evidence in the Light Most
Favorable to the Plaintiffs as Non-Movants and Whether Plaintiffs Established
a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination
3. Statistical Evidence
VIII. CONCLUSION

Page 255 I. INTRODUCTION In what may be an oversimplification, we introduce our opinion on this appeal by setting forth that the central controversy is a dispute over whether African American students in the Lower Merion School District (" LMSD" ) public schools in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, were deprived of appropriate educational services due to racial discrimination and segregation in violation of federal law. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully brought this action pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (" IDEA" ), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.; the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § § 12101, 12132; § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the " RA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 794(a); Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VI" ), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and state law, claiming that African American students in the LMSD suffered from such discrimination.1 They now appeal from portions of the District Court's orders on federal issues entered at various times during the course of the litigation. We, however, are not concerned with the substance of the state law claims on this appeal as the District Court did not exercise jurisdiction over those claims. This case encompasses a myriad of legal issues, including standing to bring suit, application of a statute of limitations, res judicata (claim preclusion), application of disability laws, appropriateness of education provided to students, anti-discrimination laws, and sections of the Code of Federal Regulations implementing the applicable laws. The case on appeal also includes a cross-appeal by the LMSD, but we will dismiss the cross-appeal without deciding it on the merits as it is moot. The District Court found that the plaintiffs did not present sufficient evidence to survive LMSD's motion for summary judgment on the discrimination charges and the Court dismissed plaintiffs' other claims for other reasons. Thus, the Court did not find that there had been any violations of federal law. Plaintiffs, now appellants, appeal from the District Court's October 20, 2011 Page 256 Memorandum and Judgment Order granting a final summary judgment to defendant LMSD and against all the plaintiffs in the case remaining at the time that the Court granted summary judgment, the Court already having dismissed several of the parties and claims from the case by previous orders.2 Appellants also appeal from rulings in two intermediate orders that became final at the time of the entry of the October 20, 2011 Memorandum and Judgment Order, namely: the...

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