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October 2016

Los Angeles Team Prevails on Motion for Summary Judgment in Disability Discrimination and Constructive Wrongful Termination

On September 23, 2016, Gordon & Rees partner Debra Ellwood Meppen and senior counsel Dina Glucksman obtained summary judgment on behalf of their client, an international distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment and related leisure products in a disability discrimination and constructive wrongful termination lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The plaintiff, a delivery truck driver for the company, filed a complaint alleging that he was terminated as a direct result of a purported disability. In direct contradiction, the defense focused the court on the plaintiff’s medical certificate, signed by the plaintiff himself, attesting to his good health and ability to drive a large truck filled with flammable materials.  The certificate put the plaintiff’s disability claim in significant peril.  Additionally, the defense submitted documentary evidence that the company admonished the plaintiff for smoking in his truck around flammable materials, and that immediately thereafter, the plaintiff chose to walk out off the job to avoid a disciplinary conversation. The defense illustrated that the plaintiff in fact abandoned his job, and therefore did not suffer any adverse employment action. 

After protracted oral argument, the court sided with the defense, and concluded that the plaintiff was not constructively terminated, that there was no adverse employment action suffered, and that the plaintiff outright failed to articulate a claim of disability discrimination.  The court granted the defense’s motion for summary judgment.

To read the decision, please click here.

Dina S. Glucksman
Debra Ellwood Meppen