Judge William Skretny

Disabled former students sued defendant school district in 2010 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), §504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and New York’s Education Law. After years of discovery, district court partly granted the district’s 2011 summary judgment motion. Despite a pending second summary judgment motion, the parties notified the court of settlement. Finding the considerations discussed in Green v. American Express and Selby v. Principal Mutual Life Insurance present, the court—believing the parties’ class action dispute suitable for disposition under the functional approach to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23—granted the parties’ joint motion seeking settlement’s approval. It also denied the district’s second summary judgment motion as moot. Under the settlement, no party admitted liability, and the parties agreed that the individual right of parents to pursue individual allegations on behalf of their children would be unaffected. Also, plaintiffs’ counsel would be paid $300,000 by the school district’s insurer. The court found the proposed settlement fair and reasonable, noting that it provides near complete relief to plaintiffs, and that there was no evidence of collusion between the parties.