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Estate of Mauro v. Borgess Medical Center

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
137 F.3d 398 (1998)


Facts

William Mauro (plaintiff) was HIV-positive and employed by Borgess Medical Center (BMC) (defendant) as an operating room technician. BMC was anonymously informed that Mauro had “full blown” AIDS. BMC was concerned that Mauro might expose a patient to HIV and decided to create a new full-time position specifically for Mauro that eliminated all risks of HIV transmission. Mauro refused to accept the position. BMC then created a task force to determine whether an HIV-positive employee could safely perform the job duties of a surgical technician. The task force concluded that because the duties of a surgical technician routinely involve the placing of hands inside a patient’s body cavity in the presence of sharp instruments, an HIV-positive employee posed a direct threat to patient care and safety. BMC informed Mauro that he could no longer serve as a surgical technician and could either accept the newly-created position or be laid off. Mauro was unresponsive and BMC fired him. Mauro filed suit against BMC alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA). BMC was granted summary judgment because the district court held that Mauro’s HIV-positive status posed a direct threat to the health and safety of others that could not be eliminated by reasonable accommodation. Mauro appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, J.)

Dissent (Boggs, J.)

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