Rasberg v. Nationwide Life Insurance Co.
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
671 F. Supp. 494 (1987)
Nationwide Life Insurance Company (Nationwide) (defendant) had a fleet of private jets that it used to transport executives, employees, and clients. Nationwide’s policy required its jet pilots to retire no later than age 62. Olaf Rasberg (plaintiff) worked for Nationwide as a jet pilot and was forced to retire at age 62. Rasberg sued Nationwide for allegedly discriminating against him based on his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Nationwide moved for summary judgment, arguing that age was a lawful, bona fide occupational qualification for jet pilots because (1) being in good health was reasonably necessary to the safe transportation of jet passengers; (2) a person’s health declined with age in ways that could compromise the person’s ability to be a safe pilot; and (3) Nationwide had no viable way to determine whether an individual pilot over the age of 62 had developing health or performance issues that would make the pilot unable to provide safe transportation, especially if an emergency occurred. In response, Rasberg provided evidence that some tests could help predict some health and performance problems in older pilots.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Graham, J.)
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