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Disabled Mother Bias

Billings, MT: (May-09-08) Geri Glass, a Livingston woman, brought a lawsuit against the state's Child and Family Services Division, alleging that her parenting abilities were unfairly investigated because she is disabled. Glass filed a Montana Human Rights Bureau discrimination complaint in April 2005, stating that the federal agency's investigation into her ability to care for her son was improper. She also claimed that she was required to meet unreasonable parenting standards. Legal counsel for Glass stated that Glass was a single parent, who was rendered tetraplegic in a 1996 car crash. Following the injury, she can use her arms and hands but cannot walk.

As part of a settlement reached in the case, sources stated that the state agreed to pay Glass $330,000. Under the terms outlined in the agreement, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services paid Geri Glass $50,000. An additional $100,000 was placed into an annuity for her 3-year-old son Gage. Sources said that on maturity, which is due in 2030, the annuities will be worth $380,000. The payout will come out of the Department of Public Health and Human Service's budget. Apart from the monetary settlement, the state agreed to review its nondiscrimination policies and provide at least three hours of discrimination training to employees in the Child and Family Services Division. [BILLINGS GAZETTE: TETRAPLEGIC MOTHER WINS $330K STATE SETTLEMENT]

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Published on May-12-08


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