Tom Brown, confined to a wheel chair, formerly taught sociology at Northeast Lakeview College. He sued ACCD and settled his case for $95,000. Mr. Brown alleged that the district required him to teach in a classroom that was not accessible to his wheel chair and the school would not provide him help to move a heavy computer cart. The district denied him tenure in 2010 and then terminated him. He had worked at the college from 2006 to 2011. See San Antonio Express News report.
Mr. Brown filed suit himself (known as suing pro se), but acquired a lawyer later during his lawsuit. Mr. Brown sued Alamo Community College District along with the individual managers, who he believed violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The court rightly dismissed the individual managers as defendants. There is no need to sue the individual manager. A Title VII or an ADA lawsuit is against the entity itself. That makes sense, since an individual manager can be overruled by a higher level manager. Instead of guessing who made the ultimate decision, a plaintiff in a Title VII or ADA lawsuit only needs to sue the entity as a whole.
During the lawsuit, the plaintiff asked the judge for permission to file an amended Complaint. He wrote the motion himself, without apparent aid of a lawyer. He mentions how difficult it is to find employment lawyers in San Antonio. True. There are only a handful of us who do employment cases on a regular basis. It would have even even more difficutl for Mr. Brown, now living in Virginia, to locate a lawyer. I presume he moved there for a job, after being terminated by ACCD. His situation is emblematic of what many plaintiffs experience as they simulatenously try to find new work and find a lawyer in a relatively obscure area of law.
The court did not dismiss the ADA claims. Presumably when the employer saw those claims remained, they decided to speak to the plaintiff about settling. And, the plaintiff wisely continued his search for a lawyer and found someone out of town. So, one pro se plaintiff succeeded, but most do not.