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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. The ADA acts as a tax upon all for the benefit of a few. And, most importantly, the many have no individual say in whether they pay the tax. Those with handicaps suffered in military service should get a pass, but those who are handicapped by accident or birth do NOT deserve that pass. The drivel about "equal access" is spurious because the handicapped HAVE equal access, they just can't effectively use it. That is their problem, not society's. The burden to remediate should be that of those who seek the benefit of some social, constructional, or dimensional change, NOT society generally. Everybody wants to socialize the costs and concentrate the benefits of government intrusion so that they benefit and largely avoid the costs. This simply maintains the constant push to the slop trough, and explains, in part, why the nation is 20 trillion dollars in the hole.

  2. Hey 2 psychs is never enough, since it is statistically unlikely that three will ever agree on anything! New study admits this pseudo science is about as scientifically valid as astrology ... done by via fortune cookie ....John Ioannidis, professor of health research and policy at Stanford University, said the study was impressive and that its results had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community. “Sadly, the picture it paints - a 64% failure rate even among papers published in the best journals in the field - is not very nice about the current status of psychological science in general, and for fields like social psychology it is just devastating,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/27/study-delivers-bleak-verdict-on-validity-of-psychology-experiment-results

  3. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  4. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  5. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

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