United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER
M. DOW, JR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Ricardo Lopez-Betancourt
(“Plaintiff”), a former medical student, brings
suit against Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of
Medicine (“Defendant” or “Loyola”)
for violations of Title III the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act. This
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim  and Plaintiff's
motion for leave to file a surreply . For the reasons
explained below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a
surreply  is granted and Defendant's motion to
dismiss  is denied because the Court cannot determine
based on the face of the complaint  that Plaintiff's
claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
This case is set for status on January 11, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
Plaintiff was a medical student at Loyola, he was diagnosed
with Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and related physical
and mental health conditions, which made it difficult for him
to study for and pass the Step 1 exam that students are
required to pass in order to advance at Loyola.
particular, Plaintiff first failed the Step 1 exam in August
2011. In November 2011, Associate Dean of Student Affairs
James Mendez (“Dean Mendez”) informed Plaintiff
of a new rule that required all third-year medical students
to pass the Step 1 exam by January 2012 in order to remain
eligible to participate in clinical clerkships. Plaintiff
failed the Step 1 exam again in June 2012, and a third time
in May 2013.
2013, Plaintiff received a letter informing him that he had
been dismissed from Loyola for failing to pass the Step 1
exam in three attempts. Plaintiff appealed that decision. In
July 2013, Loyola agreed to reinstate Plaintiff on the
condition that he pass the Step 1 exam by December 31, 2013.
Plaintiff was informed that a fourth failed attempt would
result in an immediate dismissal with no right to appeal.
requested several extensions of this deadline and a leave of
absence. Ultimately, Dean Mendez denied Plaintiff's
request for a leave of absence. Plaintiff sat for the Step 1
exam for the fourth time on April 24, 2014, believing that it
was his only chance to remain in medical school. Plaintiff
failed the exam.
“was dismissed from Loyola on May 14, 2014, due to his
failure to meet the conditions of his reinstatement-passing
the Step 1 exam on his fourth attempt.”  at 6. Dean
Mendez contacted one of Plaintiff's “former
classmate[s] via email on May 14, 2014, without
[Plaintiff's] knowledge or consent, to inform him that
[Plaintiff] had failed to pass the Step 1 exam in four
attempts and had been dismissed from Loyola.”
Id. Plaintiff “received a phone call from Dean
Sonntag on May 15, 2014, but was never informed of his
enrollment status at any point during the
“contacted Dean Mendez on May 16, 2014 to ask
permission to retake the Step 1 exam since his health had
significantly improved.”  at 6. Plaintiff's
doctors also sent a letter to Dean Mendez in August 2014,
describing the effects that his medical conditions had on his
academic performance. On September 10, 2104, Plaintiff's
“endocrinologist . . . contacted Loyola . . . to
express her concerns that [Plaintiff's] dismissal from
Loyola was the result of his various health
“was not formally notified of his dismissal from Loyola
effective May 14, 2014 until he requested a copy of his
entire Loyola file in October 2014.”  at 6.
Plaintiff's attorney, Deborah Pergament of the
Children's Law Group, sent a demand letter to
Loyola's General Counsel on November 10, 2014. Loyola
responded on December 23, 2014 by refusing to reinstate
Plaintiff or to take actions that would enable him to sit for
the Step 1 exam. Plaintiff's medical conditions are now
under control, and Plaintiff desires to retake and pass the
Step 1 exam.
filed suit against Loyola on December 22, 2016. See .
Plaintiff alleges that Loyola violated the ADA and the
Rehabilitation Act by: 1) failing to grant him a leave of
absence “to obtain the necessary medical and
psychiatric treatment to allow him to effectively prepare for
the Step 1 exam”; 2) failing to engage in the
interactive process to identify other potential effective
accommodations; 3) restricting his access to Loyola
facilities and health care services; 4) “dismissing him
in May 2014”; 5) “engaging in retaliatory conduct
that consisted of failing to accommodate him and dismissing
him from Loyola because he had previously asserted his rights
under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act; and 6) refusing, in a
letter from the Office of General Counsel dated December 23,
2014, to allow Plaintiff to be readmitted and allowed to
retake the Step 1 exam.  at 9-10.
seeks injunctive relief ordering Loyola to, among other
things, reinstate him and allow him to sit for the Step 1
exam following a six to eight week period of preparation.
Plaintiff also seeks compensatory damages, costs, and
Motion for Leave to File Surreply
Court grants Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a
surreply, see , and considers the attached two-page