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United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
May 6, 2002, Decided
Case No. 97-CV-2884 (FB)
[*163] SUPPLEMENTAL DECISION
BLOCK, District Judge:
On February 27, 2002, the Court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment. See Jacques v. DiMarzio, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3399, F. Supp. 2d , No. 97 CV 2884, 2002 WL 336966 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2002). Subsequently, the Court, independent of the parties, learned of the Eighth Circuit's decision in Weber v. Strippit, 186 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 1999), which held, inter alia, that "regarded as" disabled plaintiffs are not entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). See id. at 917. That decision has triggered the Court to now move, sua sponte, to reconsider that part of its decision that held, contrary to Weber, that if plaintiff Audrey Jacques ("Jacques") could establish [**2] that she was perceived to be disabled, she could contend that she was entitled to a reasonable accommodation. See Nabisco v. Warner-Lambert Co., 32 F. Supp. 2d 690, 694 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) ] ("Because the denial of a motion for summary judgment is an interlocutory order, the trial court is free to [*164] reconsider . . . its decision for any reason it deems sufficient, even in the absence of new evidence or an intervening change in or clarification of the substantive law.") (internal quotation marks omitted).
THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE
In reaching its holding in Weber, the Eighth Circuit reasoned that
imposing liability on employers who fail to accommodate non-disabled employees who are simply regarded as disabled would lead to bizarre results. Assume for instance, that [plaintiff's] heart condition prevented him from relocating . . . but did not substantially limit any major life activity. Absent a perceived disability, defendants could terminate [plaintiff] without exposing themselves to liability under the ADA. If the hypothetical is altered, however, such that defendants mistakenly perceive [plaintiff's] heart condition as substantially limiting one or [**3] more major life activities, defendants would be required to reasonably accommodate [plaintiff's] condition by, for instance, delaying his relocation . . . . Although [plaintiff's] impairment is no more severe in this example than in the first, [plaintiff] would now be entitled to accommodations for a non-disabling impairment that no similarly situated employee would enjoy.
186 F.3d at 916. Weber concluded that Congress could not have "intended to create a disparity among impaired but non-disabled employees, denying most the right to reasonable accommodations but granting to others, because of their employers' misperceptions, a right to reasonable accommodations no more limited than those afforded actually disabled employees." Id. at 917. Its holding sweeps broadly, and would render nugatory the concept of reasonable accommodation in all "regarded as" cases.
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200 F. Supp. 2d 151 *; 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8440 **; 13 Am. Disabilities Cas. (BNA) 1014
AUDREY JACQUES, Plaintiff, -against- DiMARZIO, INC., Defendant.
Subsequent History: [**1] Reported at: 200 F. Supp. 2d 151 at 163.
Claim dismissed by, Motion denied by, Sanctions allowed by Jacques v. DiMarzio, Inc., 216 F. Supp. 2d 139, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15621 (E.D.N.Y., 2002)
Prior History: Jacques v. DiMarzio, Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3399 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2002).
Jacques v. DiMarzio, Inc., 200 F. Supp. 2d 151, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3399 (E.D.N.Y., 2002)
Disposition: Upon reconsideration, Court adhered to its original decision in all respects, and Defendant's motion for summary judgment denied.
disabled, reasonable accommodation, accommodation, impairment, interactive process, employees, substantial limitation, prong, major life activity, en banc, misperceptions, non-disabled, co-workers, legislative history, similarly situated, disabled employee, district court
Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, General Overview, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Interlocutory Orders, Business & Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Accommodation, Labor & Employment Law, Disability Discrimination, Remedies, Reasonable Accommodations, Interactive Process, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Scope & Definitions, Qualified Individuals With Disabilities, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Disabled Persons, Federal Employment & Services, Accommodations, Regulators, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Americans With Disabilities Act, Enforcement Actions, ADA Enforcement, Undue Hardship