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Deaf Man Gets $25K Settlement After Lifeguard Job Offer Rescinded

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Michigan Lawyers Weekly
October 29, 2013 Tuesday
NEWS
320 words
Verdicts & Settlements October 29, 2013: Deaf man sues after lifeguard job offer is rescinded
Michigan Lawyers Weekly Staff

--(October 21, 2013) Plaintiff Nicholas Keith, a deaf man, was certified as a lifeguard after successfully completing defendant Oakland County's lifeguard training program with the assistance of an American Sign Language interpreter.

He applied for a lifeguard job at defendant's wave pool and was offered the job pending a physical examination. A physician examined plaintiff and concluded that his deafness would have to be "'constantly accommodated. '"

Defendant's recreation director prepared an outline of accommodations that she believed could successfully integrate plaintiff into the work environment. She sent the outline to an aquatic risk management firm for review. Upon receiving negative feedback from the firm, defendant rescinded the job offer.

Plaintiff sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The federal court ruled in favor of the county in 2011 and dismissed the claims. In January 2013, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case, saying that defendant did not give plaintiff a chance to show he could perform the job.

On the eve of trial, the matter settled for $25,000.

Type of action: Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Type of injuries: Wage loss, emotional distress

Name of case: Keith v. County of Oakland

Court/Case no./Date: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; 2:10-CV-12026; Oct. 14, 2013

Name of judge: Lawrence P. Zatkoff

Settlement amount: $25,000

Most helpful experts: Anita Marchitelli, aquatic safety professor, Washington, D.C.; Sheri Garnand, aquatic safety and deaf lifeguard certification,Phoenix

Attorneys for plaintiff: Joey Niskar, William R. Seikaly, Jeffrey T. Stewart

Attorneys for defendant: John Lynch, Keith J. Lerminiaux

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© 2013 Dolan Media Newswires. All Rights Reserved.

November 4, 2013

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