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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Mobley v. Allstate (SD Ind., Judge Barker), a 30-page, 2-1 opinion, Judge Flaum writes:

Plaintiff Catherine A. Mobley worked for Allstate Insurance (“Allstate”) for sixteen years before being laid off with 31 other employees in October 2003 as part of a reduction in force (“RIF”). In July 2001, Mobley had begun having problems concentrating and staying awake at work, due to what was ultimately diagnosed as essential tremor and nocturnal myoclonus. From fall 2002 until April 2003, Mobley wrangled with her supervisors over workplace accommodations for her conditions. In May 2003, Allstate permitted Mobley to regularly work in a private room rather than a cubicle. Although Mobley’s earlier, temporary placement in this private room had improved her work performance, Mobley’s performance level never reached the “meets” level after May 2003, causing her name to be included on the RIF in October of that year. Mobley subsequently brought suit against Allstate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), bringing claims for failure to accommodate her disability, discriminatory termination, and unlawful retaliation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Allstate on all claims, which Mobley now appeals. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.

[Judge Wood's dissent begins:] Summary judgment is appropriate, as everyone knows, only if there are no disputed issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Applying that well-worn standard, the majority has concluded that Catherine Mobley has failed to show that a trial is needed to resolve her case. I agree with the majority that Mobley’s presentation has indeed fallen short with respect to her retaliation claim. As I read this record, however, there are genuinely disputed material facts relating to her claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., for failure to accommodate and wrongful termination. I would therefore reverse and remand for further proceedings on the latter two theories.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 8, 2008 01:46 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions