Archive for Monday, November 7, 2011

Lawrence man files lawsuit against Washburn, health care contractor after incident involving ADHD medication

"Mr. Ichabod" statue on Washburn University campus in Topeka.

"Mr. Ichabod" statue on Washburn University campus in Topeka.

November 7, 2011


A Lawrence man has filed a federal lawsuit against Washburn University in Topeka and a health care contractor at a Kansas prison, alleging he was unfairly dismissed from Washburn’s clinical psychology graduate program and an internship for an incident involving his ADHD medication.

The suit was filed recently on behalf of Ryan Talley, 30. His attorney Tony Shapiro alleged Washburn officials violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because they dismissed Talley based on his ADHD and need to use medication — he was prescribed Adderall — to treat it. Shapiro also alleged Washburn denied Talley a “reasonable accommodation,” in violation of the act.

“As a result of the plaintiff’s dismissal from Washburn University, the plaintiff has been unable to obtain his degree or his license as a psychologist and unable to pursue a career as a psychologist, and has, therefore, suffered irreparable damage, including past and future earnings, mental anguish and emotional distress,” Shapiro wrote in initial complaint.

The suit alleges these facts:

• Talley as a graduate student worked at an internship from October 2009 to March 2010 at the Topeka Correctional Facility engaging in individual and group psychotherapy with prison inmates. The internship was offered through Correct Care Solutions, a contractor that provides health care including mental health services at the prison.

• He was diagnosed with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in 1987 and was prescribed Adderall to help manage his ability to sustain attention to tasks and avoid distractions, for example.

• Six months into his internship on March 22, 2010, a prison guard stopped him and noticed he was bringing his daily dose of medication inside. The guard said he was prohibited from bringing it inside but allowed him to swallow the medication in the guard’s presence. Talley then proceeded inside and completed his work day without further incident.

• But Talley then alleged three days later he was reprimanded for the incident by two Correct Care Solutions officials. Then the company terminated his internship one day later, and four days later he was dismissed from the Washburn clinical psychology program. At two subsequent hearings, his dismissal was not overturned.

• Shapiro argued no one in the hearings directly brought up the March 22 incident, but he alleged Talley had received no prior reprimands from Correct Care Solutions.

“The plaintiff was never informed of any tangible reason for his dismissal,” Shapiro alleged.

• Talley also alleged that for six months he had entered the prison without incident carrying his daily dose of medication, which he said was within the prison’s rules. He claims he notified proper supervisors at Correct Care Solutions and provided a note about the medication from the Washburn University Student Health Center.

• Talley is seeking damages against Washburn University, its board of regents and Correct Care Solutions, and is also asking for reinstatement into the program.

Elinor Schroeder, a Kansas University law professor who studies disability law, said that in many education cases, courts have held ADHD to be a disability and that Congress in 2008 changed the law that made it easier for plaintiffs in those cases. But she also said courts always look at an individual person and the effect the condition has on the person’s life and ability to function.

“That would be the question. Can they reasonably accommodate him without altering the correctional facility’s function?” Schroeder said.

Shapiro, of Leawood, declined to comment on the case last week. Amanda Hughes, a Washburn spokeswoman, said the university’s legal counsel had no comment. According to federal court records last week, U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia had not yet set any hearings in the case.


Jackie Jackasserson 6 years, 6 months ago

I can't understand why he didn't take the medication at home or if necessary to take mid day, take the extended release formula during the work week.

Bob Forer 6 years, 6 months ago

You're right. You don't understand.

Adderal metabolizes quickly, and more than one dosage is required during an eight hour period. While an extended release capsule is available, it is not as effective because the delivery of the drug into the system is slow during the first few hours after ingestion, so one does not receive full therapeutic effect of the extended release for several hours.

Also, the article states that he advised both his program and the facility of his medication usage, and apparently they seemed to have no problem with.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

Kind of a weird photo to go with the content of this story.

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a statue of Washburn University's mascot, Ichabod Washburn, who was a benefactor in the 1800's. Essentially, he gave them a financial bailout when it was Lincoln College and they changed the school's name to Washburn as a gesture of thanks.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

I know what it is. It just seems like a weird photo to go with a story about a guy suing the school and a health care contractor. No real connection with the content of the story.

leonardpike 6 years, 6 months ago

As someone who has struggled with ADHD for over 32 years, I can tell you that the extended release formula is the cat's meow. I take Concerta. Adderal was bad for me, but might be good for Talley. Though, until recently, most of the delayed/extended release formulas were expensive. Back in 09' and 10' the extended release formula's of adderal and concerta would have been approximately $150-$200 a month unless Talley has some great insurance that no other grad student in the world has.

Topekaguy46 6 years, 6 months ago

He (or better yet his family) must have a LOT of money! If he is filing a lawsuit at the federal level, he has obviously lost at previous levels. This is a kid who has to be believing that he is right. Seriously. What a waste of time? Bringing drugs into a prison? What a dumbass!!!

Nathan Atchison 6 years, 6 months ago

it seems like there's more to this story, his dismissal seems harsh for what transpired.

Alceste 6 years, 6 months ago


The DOC has some very strict rules about taking a Rx into a facility as an employee; particularly when it is a controlled substance, which Adderall is. Schedule II Controlled Substance in fact. The issue, I rather suspect, will be in just how much "authorization" the litigant had to carry in a controlled substance and just exactly what his employer and school knew. The bottom line is that the litagant probably did not obtain written authorization and that may just prove to be his downfall......those fools on the other side of the table will lie, cheat, and steal to get out of any "verbal" deal: They'll deny it was ever given (authorization) and will deny ever discussing it "He told us he had medicine, but we NEVER knew it was a Schedule II controlled substance"......and that's IF he's lucky. My money says they'll deny diddly boo about it.

Correct Care Solutions is a Grade D operation; for profit; and will do whatever they need to do to retain their contract with the DOC. As well, Washburn will do whatever they want to protect their "program" and their flow of money.

If the guy has a written authorization, he'll be just fine. Wanna bet he got diddly in writing?

fourkitties 6 years, 6 months ago

Alceste- On his behalf....lets hope he kept copies of everything if he did recieve it in writing. (Reminder to everyone....get and keep all agreements in writing and keep copies ALWAYS!!) I'll tell you one thing....if Washburn is found that they violated ADA, in ANYWAY Shape or form, they will be in big, BIG trouble.

Alceste 6 years, 6 months ago


I concur. One way to make certain things are in writing following a verbal conference with your supervisor or your college advisor is to follow-it-up-in-writing ON YOUR OWN:

"This memo is in follow-up to our phone conference on 11/07/2011 which began at 11:02am and ended at 11:18am wherein I informed you I was required to take the Rx medication Adderall due to my medically monitored medically diagnosed illness of ADHD. I informed of you and you noted A.B.C.D.

Thank you for giving me the time to speak to with you and understand the fact I must take this Rx, prescribed by my DOCTOR in order to blah, blah, blah, blah.

It is my expectation that this communication remain private. It is protected per HIPPA guidelines. Sit down and shut up, now. I'm doing my job."



Sending such memos' here in Kansas is one way to protect your backside in this backwater, hillybilly, right to get the shaft state. ALWAYS document your phone calls, actual face to face meetings, etc., etc., etc., etc. Be advised: Said practice will NOT win you any friends. shrug

seriouscat 6 years, 6 months ago

I hope people heed this advise Alceste! DOCUMENT it and keep that in a safe place where you can find it and make a copy if you need to show it to someone. I've had paperwork "lost" at the county courthouse over a traffic ticket!

Jillian Andrews 6 years, 6 months ago

There is clearly more to this story. My guess is that he was suspected of selling to Adderall to inmates. Adderall is in fact, a methamphetamine, and largely traded on the black market. There is no reason he couldn't have taken the medication elsewhere, or on his lunch break, etc., extended release or not. That claim doesn't hold water.

Alceste 6 years, 6 months ago absurd "There is no reason he couldn't have taken the medication elsewhere, or on his lunch break, etc......": You ever worked in a "correctional facility"??? Breaks are taken AFTER going through the "sally port" as is lunch.....unless one leaves the grounds....which few do for lunch given there is so little time.......

What doesn't "hold water" is stopping for armadillos......

cinnamontwist 6 years, 6 months ago

They manage to get out to the parking lot for smoke breaks.

Topekaguy46 6 years, 6 months ago

There has to be much more to this story. The DOC has all sorts of forms and if he completed the paperwork, then there it is. Simple. I am thinking that there is definitely something else going on here.

Adderall is a methamphetamine??? Commonsense alone would tell you not to bring it into the prison. Glad he isn't a therapist to anyone I know.

seriouscat 6 years, 6 months ago

LJWorld forum modus operandus:

first, find whoever in the situation is the least powerful in terms of societal position or money second, blame them for everything

Lesson to the little people in Kansas...when the powers that be come down on you for whatever reason, your friends and neighbors will be there handing them the hand-cuffs.

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