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Court: Driver didn't prove discrimination

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a truck driver's former company in the driver's suit against it for discrimination, finding he failed to present a genuine issue of material fact in his Americans with Disabilities Act claims.

In Gerald D. Lloyd v. Swifty Transportation, Inc., No. 07-1476, Gerald Lloyd worked for Swifty from 1998 until May 2005 as a night-shift driver. The company was aware of his prosthetic leg when it hired him and granted him medical leave several times.

Lloyd filed his suit claiming violations under the ADA and the Family and Medical Leave Act in August 2005, claiming Swifty repeatedly failed to promote him to lead driver, disciplined him, paid him less than other drivers, and created a hostile working environment that led him to quit, all relating to his disability. He also claimed the company breached a negotiated settlement agreement by not interviewing him for two open lead-driver positions, which would be considered a promotion.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Swifty. Since the company employs fewer than 50 workers, it's not subject to the FMLA, affirmed the federal appellate court.

In Lloyd's breach-of-contract claim, he never showed he was qualified to be promoted to lead driver. His agreement with the company was that they would interview him for any open lead-driver positions, but Swifty wasn't obligated to hire him if he wasn't qualified, Judge Ilana D. Rovner wrote.

Even though it's undisputed by the parties that Lloyd wouldn't have been promoted, he believes he should be eligible for damages for being denied even the opportunity to interview for a lead-driver position twice in 2004.

"The District Court observed that the Indiana courts have not yet recognized lost-opportunity damages in contracts cases. In this court Lloyd does not disagree or provide any authority that the District Court is wrong. More importantly, Lloyd failed to produce any evidence about lost-opportunity damages."

The 7th Circuit also affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Swifty in all of Lloyd's remaining claims. Lloyd failed to establish a prima facie case that he was discriminated against because of his disability. Lloyd, who had been disciplined for loading gas from the wrong supplier, didn't present any evidence to show other drivers without a disability weren't disciplined for similar conduct. He also failed to establish a prima facie case regarding his pay because he didn't prove he was paid less than similarly situated drivers without a disability, wrote the judge.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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