BW Wins Defense Verdict in Disability Discrimination Trial
by Michael Dee James White
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Following an eight-day jury trial in Linn County, Iowa, BrownWinick attorneys Michael Dee and James White won a defense verdict in a case involving claims of disability discrimination and retaliation. BrownWinick represented a large national energy company and two of its employees who were sued by a former employee alleging the company terminated the employee for reporting he had a disability and asking for accommodations to continue doing his job. After the company worked with the employee to determine the essential functions of the job, the employee’s physician reported the employee could not perform numerous essential job functions. The employee subsequently requested accommodations to continue working, but the requested accommodations would have required eliminating at least four essential job functions and were therefore rejected. The defendants thereafter engaged in a diligent process to try to find the employee another position in the company for which he was qualified, but the employee discontinued that process and applied for disability. The employee nevertheless sued the company and the two employees. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants finding there was no disability discrimination and no retaliation.