Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Railroad failed to accommodate deaf conductor

A federal appeals court is unanimously overturning a lower court ruling and reinstating the claim of a deaf train conductor. The lawsuit of Mark Mlsna said Union Pacific Railroad Company did not reasonably accommodate him. Union Pacific had given Mlsna a hearing test which he did not pass without his hearing aids and the company rejected his custom-made hearing protection device. As a result, Mlsna was fired and he filed an ADA-based lawsuit. The suit was dismissed by a district court judge, despite the fact his experience and knowledge as a train conductor was not in dispute. This was overturned with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which wrote:
Because genuine issues of fact exist as to whether Union Pacific reasonably accommodated Mlsna’s hearing disability, Union Pacific should not have received summary judgment.
You can read the full final opinion here.