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United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
May 12, 1999, Submitted ; August 17, 1999, Filed
[*966] JOHN R. GIBSON, Circuit Judge.
Diane M. Cossette appeals from the district court's entry of summary judgment on her claims of retaliation and illegal disclosure of confidential medical information under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the court's dismissal of various related state law claims. We affirm the grant of summary judgment on the retaliation claim, but we reverse the summary judgment entered on the claims of illegal disclosure of medical information, as well as the dismissal of the state law claims, and we remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
] We view the evidence in the light most favorable to Cossette, the party against whom summary judgment was granted. See Do v. Wal-Mart Stores, 162 F.3d 1010, 1012 (8th Cir. 1998). In 1990, Cossette worked part-time for both Minnesota Power & Light and part-time as a waitress at a restaurant. While working at the restaurant, she fell and [**2] injured her back, leading to a finding of 10.5 percent permanent partial disability and entitling her to partial workers' compensation benefits under Minnesota law. Although her back injury substantially impaired her ability to lift, bend and carry, Cossette was able to continue her employment with MP&L in the "Call Center."
Three years after the back injury, Cossette still worked in the Call Center. Despite satisfactory job performance, Cossette's supervisor suspected that she suffered from literacy deficits, dyslexia, and perhaps other intellectual deficiencies, and she ordered Cossette to undergo testing at a local university clinic. The testing revealed normal cognitive and academic abilities.
[*967] In the meantime, Cossette was seeking a transfer from the Call Center to MP&L's Office Services Department. MP&L hired a local clinic to determine Cossette's ability to meet the physical demands associated with the office services clerk position. In November 1992, the clinic determined that Cossette had a lifting restriction of twenty to thirty-five pounds. Joseph C. Burton, supervisor of the Office Services Department, learned of Cossette's back injury, lifting restriction, and perceived [**3] intellectual deficiencies. At the behest of MP&L's associate general counsel and human resources officer and without Cossette's consent, Burton disclosed this information to his subordinates (Cossette's prospective co-workers). Burton and others were concerned that Cossette's limitations would adversely affect departmental morale, particularly if his subordinates' schedules and tasks would have to be altered to accommodate Cossette.
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188 F.3d 964 *; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 19290 **; 9 Am. Disabilities Cas. (BNA) 1086
Diane M. Cossette, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. Minnesota Power & Light, an employer and business corporation in the State of Minnesota; Joseph C. Burton, Defendants - Appellees.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. CIV 5-96-104. Honorable James M. Rosenbaum, District Judge.
Disposition: Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
disclosure, lifting, letter carrier, back injury, disability, summary judgment, district court, hiring, state law claim, medical information, co-workers, retaliation, medical examination, office service, confidential, pounds, grant of summary judgment, subordinates, disability discrimination, retaliation claim, appraisal
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, General Overview, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Evidence, Privileges, Doctor-Patient Privilege, Elements, Healthcare Law, Medical Treatment, Patient Confidentiality, Labor & Employment Law, Disability Discrimination, Defenses, Business Necessity, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Disabled Persons, Americans With Disabilities Act, Scope, Employment Practices, Medical Inquiries, Public Health & Welfare Law, Disabled & Elderly Persons, Advocacy & Protection, Medical Records, Remedies, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens of Proof, Judgments, Evidentiary Considerations, Business & Corporate Compliance, Unfair Labor Practices, Employer Violations, Interference With Protected Activities, Discrimination, Retaliation, Title VII Discrimination, Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Sources, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supplemental Jurisdiction