Feldman v. Law Enforcement Associates Corp.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
779 F. Supp. 2d 472 (2011)
Paul Feldman and Martin Perry (plaintiffs) were employees of Law Enforcement Associates Corporation (LEA) (defendant). Feldman was LEA’s president for almost 20 years. Perry worked as LEA’s sales director for three of his nine years at LEA. Both Feldman and Perry were members of LEA’s board of directors. Perry was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1990. In 2004, Perry missed work due to an MS flare-up that caused temporary paralysis and then permanent weakness on Perry’s left side. After 2004, LEA accommodated three of Perry’s requests for medical leave due to MS-symptom flare-ups. On August 26, 2009, Feldman suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke or warning stroke. Feldman was hospitalized for two days and could not work for several additional weeks. The TIA prevented Feldman from engaging in multiple other major life activities. On August 27, 2009, Perry was briefly hospitalized for another MS-symptom flare up. The three nonhospitalized board members (the other directors) (defendants) refused to reschedule the board’s August 27 board meeting. At that meeting, the other directors acted on LEA’s behalf to terminate Feldman. A few weeks later, LEA also terminated Perry, claiming that Perry had abandoned his job. Feldman and Perry filed individual and then consolidated complaints against LEA and the other directors in federal district court. In addition to other claims, Feldman and Perry raised wrongful-discharge and failure-to-accommodate claims against LEA under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). LEA and its codefendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing in relevant part that Feldman and Perry did not qualify as disabled under the ADA because their impairments were temporary and not severe.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Britt, J.)
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