The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA
Before the court is defendant Chicago Transit Authority's ("CTA") motion to dismiss plaintiff Bryant Long's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons that follow, defendant's motion is granted.
Plaintiff Bryant Long ("Long") alleges the following facts which, for the purposes of this motion, are taken as true. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 81 L. Ed. 2d 59, 104 S. Ct. 2229 (1984). When Long was eleven years old, he had both of his feet partially amputated and was fit with prosthetics. Subsequently, Long graduated from high school and completed two years of college. Currently, Long has an unrestricted driver's license and has maintained an excellent driving record for twelve years. Long is well coordinated and in excellent health.
In April of 1995, Long applied for the position of bus operator with the CTA. The CTA had Long take several preemployment tests. After Long passed the tests, the CTA told Long to get a commercial driver's license. Long obtained a commercial driver's license permit on May 23, 1995. At that time, the CTA made an offer to employ Long. The CTA made the offer contingent on Long passing a drug test and a physical examination which were to be administered on June 1, 1995.
Long passed the eye test, hearing test, and the drug test. However, when the CTA learned that Long was an amputee, the CTA told Long that it could not hire him unless he obtained a waiver from the United States Department of Transportation ("DOT"). The CTA also told him that DOT would only issue the waiver if the CTA signed the necessary forms to obtain the waiver and that it would only sign the forms if he obtained a "release from his doctor."
Long then consulted an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Clare Giergerich, who determined, after examining Long, that he was fit to work as a bus driver. Dr. Giergerich signed the forms. Long then submitted the forms to the CTA for the CTA to sign.
However, the CTA refused to sign the forms.
On February 12, 1996, Long filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), alleging discrimination on the basis of a disability in violation of the ADA. On November 25, 1996, Long received a right to sue letter from the EEOC.
Long then filed this suit against the CTA, alleging disability discrimination in violation of Titles I and II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"). 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213. The court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Long claims that the CTA has intentionally discriminated against him on the basis of his disability, which has deprived him of equal employment opportunities and adversely affected his status as an applicant for employment.
The CTA has filed a motion to dismiss Long's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The CTA argues that Long has failed to establish that he is a qualified individual with a disability and, therefore, is not protected by the ADA.
A. Legal standard for deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
When deciding a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Cromley v. Board of Educ. of Lockport, 699 F. Supp. 1283, 1285 (N.D. Ill. 1988). If, when viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must dismiss the case. See FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6); Gomez v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ., 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). However, the court may dismiss the complaint only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).
Furthermore, a court may dismiss a claim on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss if the plaintiff pleads sufficient facts to show that the plaintiff's suit is without merit. Tregenza v. Great Am. Communications Co., 12 F.3d 717, 718 (7th Cir. 1993). That is to say, a plaintiff may plead himself out of court by pleading facts sufficient to establish that he has no legal claim. Stewart v. RCA Corp., 790 ...