Last year, Miller Cohen PLC attorneys were proud to have represented teachers, staff, and students who were exposed to deplorable conditions at DPS schools. Miller Cohen filed a lawsuit that brought public and legal attention to the suffering of so many. Schools were infested with rodents and insects; faculty and students were exposed to black mold and falling debris; classrooms were either freezing cold or sweltering; and other hazards to the safety, health, and well-being of our educators and students were being left un-remediated.
Miller Cohen PLC is pleased to announce success. After a year of litigation, a Consent Judgment was entered requiring that the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) be accountable and that educators and parents have a voice regarding the condition of the buildings. DPSCD must put into place a procedure that allows parents, guardians, and staff to submit work orders concerning the condition of the buildings and is required to follow-up the orders until completion. Work order requests must be investigated within five days. After that, DPSCD has five days to post its plan to repair or remediate the issue, including a deadline for completion.
The Consent Judgment establishes an Oversight Committee, including one teacher, one non-teacher staff member, and one parent, who will meet to enforce the terms of the Consent Judgment. They have the right to inspect any school building in regard to a properly submitted work order request. Then, if DPSCD fails to follow through or fails to repair any work order issue, the Oversight Committee can enforce the Consent Judgment through an expedited arbitration process. This expedited process may also be used to compel the District to act when a condition of the school poses a significant threat to the health and safety of the students or educators. Finally, the Consent Judgment provides that Judge David Lawson maintains jurisdiction over the matter to enforce the terms of the Consent Judgment.
The full language of the Consent Judgement can be found here: Link. Attorneys Robert Fetter and Keith Flynn of Miller Cohen handled the case.