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The 8th Circuit agrees with me!

I am thrilled to report that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the summary dismissal of a case I handled for Canadian Pacific Railway, Kirkeberg v. Candian Pacifiic Railway  (My former colleague at Leonard, Street, Tracey Donesky, successfully argued the appeal). 

Kirkeberg had sued the railroad for disability discrimination after his position was eliminated.  We argued that there was no evidence of discrimination and that the position elimiation was based on legitimate business concerns.  The Court agreed with us that the plaintiff could not show he was disabled under the ADA and the MHRA because his vision problems and hepatitis did not substantially limit his major life activities. Significantly, it rejected the “conclusory” claims that he made in a post-deposition affidavit about how his conditions impacted him. The Court also refused to accept his argument that the Railroad had “regarded” him as disabled. 

Plaintiff had also alleged that he was retaliated against for his disability, but the Court concluded that because he had not engaged in any “protected activity”, there was no retaliation.

The case does not break any new ground, but it provides some helpful analysis for employers facing disability discrimination claims.

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