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Fifth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in ADA Case

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer in an Americans with Disabilities Act matter.

January 25, 2016


(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas, United States // Keith Clouse

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer in an Americans with Disabilities Act matter. Cannon v. Jacobs Field Servs. N. Am,. Inc., No. 15-20127 (5th Cir. Jan. 13, 2016), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/15/15-20127-CV0.pdf. The plaintiff received a job offer. The company doctor then conducted a pre-employment examination and cleared the plaintiff for the position as long as the company made accommodations for the plaintiff’s rotator cuff injury. After receiving the doctor’s report, the company rescinded the job offer. The plaintiff filed suit, and the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer.

The Court reversed the summary judgment. First, the Court held that evidence supported a finding that the plaintiff suffered from a disability that resulted in a substantial impairment. The Court then evaluated whether the plaintiff could perform the essential functions of the job either in spite of his disability or with a reasonable accommodation. The Court concluded that the plaintiff provided some evidence to support a finding that he could perform the essential elements of the job, so summary judgment was inappropriate. Finally, the Court determined that, because the plaintiff’s failure-to-accommodate claim was not addressed by the district court, it should be addressed on remand.

To speak to an employment law attorney about the Americans with Disabilities Act, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705. This article is presented by the Dallas employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP.