SHERMAN - A doctoral student who has attempted to obtain his degree for the past 16 years has filed a lawsuit against an east Texas university,  claiming the school is committing disability discrimination by denying him readmission into the doctoral program.

George Ebertin filed suit against Texas Woman’s University on Sept. 5 in Denton County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Oct. 8.

Ebertin began doctorate work at TWU in the fall of 1996 and underwent various and numerous surgeries until he withdrew from school in 2003. He returned to school in August 2009, but by January 2011 his condition prevented him from completing required course work in a class and he was dismissed from the doctorate program.

According to the lawsuit, following the 2011 dismissal he completed a pain management program and requested readmission to the doctorate program with reasonable accommodations provided by student disability support services in January 2012.

TWU denied his request.

The defendant is accused of disability discrimination by failing to make any attempt to offer Ebertin any reasonable accommodations for his disability, despite knowing of his problems.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages, lost past tuition, emotional distress, consequential damages, other compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, interest and court costs.

Ebertin is represented by Janet M. Payne in Granbury. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00637

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