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Fletcher v. Price Chopper Foods of Trumann, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
220 F.3d 871 (2000)
Linda Fletcher (plaintiff) worked for Price Chopper Foods of Trumann, Inc. (PCF) (defendant). Fletcher had a diabetic ulcer on her foot that required dressing at a hospital three times a week. The ulcer became infected with staph. Fletcher told two coworkers about the infection immediately upon learning of it. The coworkers informed the store manager. PCF’s corporate manager, Marlene Sawyer, terminated Fletcher’s employment because employees with communicable diseases were prohibited from working in the food-preparation industry. When Fletcher applied for unemployment benefits, she denied having an infection. To resolve the inconsistency, Sawyer contacted Fletcher’s doctor, provided a copy of Fletcher’s medical authorization for workers’-compensation benefits rather than a medical-information waiver given to PCF, and informed the nurse that Fletcher had once removed the bandage on her foot during work. The nurse understood Sawyer to be saying that Fletcher was not following her doctor’s instructions and had the doctor write to Sawyer reiterating that Fletcher should not expose her infection to the air. Fletcher sued PCF for invasion of privacy. At the end of Fletcher’s case, the court denied PCF’s motion for judgment as a matter of law. The jury found in favor of Fletcher on her invasion-of-privacy claim. PCF appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bye, J.)
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