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QUIGLEY v. AUSTEEL LEMONT CO.

January 20, 2000

DOMINIC QUIGLEY, PLAINTIFF,
V.
AUSTEEL LEMONT COMPANY, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alesia, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is defendant Austeel Lemont Company, Incorporated's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following reasons, the court grants defendant's motion.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff Dominic Quigley ("Quigley") worked for the defendant Austeel Lemont Company, Incorporated ("Austeel") from January 17, 1994 to September 2, 1997 in its plant located in Lemont, Illinois. Austeel is a Delaware corporation engaged in the production and sale of steel products.

Austeel originally hired Quigley as a material handler. On February 21, 1994, Quigley became a caster. About six months later, on September 5, 1994, Austeel promoted Quigley to the position of Team Leader Casting. A little over a month later, Austeel gave Quigley another promotion. This promotion was to the position of Casting Supervisor. As Casting Supervisor, Quigley oversaw employees in the melt shop, coordinated with the furnace side of the melt shop, kept time sheets for the employees who did not punch a time clock, determined whether employee absences were excusable and payable, and disciplined employees.

About four months later, Gerald L. Rich ("Rich"), Acting Melt Shop Superintendent, evaluated Quigley's performance as a supervisor on February 7, 1995. In the "cooperativeness" category, Quigley received a "fair" rating. This rating indicated that Quigley was: "Inclined to be overly independent. Sometimes curt in dealing with others. Not a good team worker, causes some friction." (D.Ex. E at 3.) In addition, Rich wrote that Quigley is "willing to listen to others," however, he needs to improve his tact. (Id.)

Following this, Quigley completed a self-appraisal form. In his self-appraisal, Quigley stated that he needed (1) "training on how to develop a better understanding about situations with employees" and (2) stress management courses. (D.Ex. F at 3.)

As a supervisor, Austeel required Quigley to attend supervisor training classes. At these classes, Austeel provided information on being an effective supervisor and on interacting and communicating with subordinates. Out of ten classes, Quigley attended only six. Based upon Quigley's attendance, Wayne Dawson ("Dawson"), Quigley's supervisor, issued a written warning to Quigley on July 9, 1997. This warning noted Quigley's lack of attendance and also his inappropriate behavior of drinking beer by Austeel's gate and of contradicting other Austeel officials in front of employees. Despite this warning, Quigley missed another class on August 1st.

On August 3rd and 4th of 1997, Quigley failed to come to work. Dawson documented this in an Employee Contact Report on August 8th. This report states that on August 4th, Mrs. Quigley, Quigley's wife, called Rich and informed him that Quigley was in the hospital, but she did not know when he would be released. The parties dispute whether Mrs. Quigley informed Rich of the reasons for Quigley's hospitalization — severe depression and chemical dependency — at this time.

Also, on August 8, 1997, Quigley called Gregg Lawson ("Lawson"), Human Resource Supervisor. The parties, however, dispute the subject matter of this telephone conversation. Quigley alleges that the call was to inform Austeel of his inpatient treatment at BroMenn Healthcare for drug abuse. (Pl.'s 12(N) Statement at 7, ¶¶ 40-42.) However, Austeel asserts that during the call Quigley did not mention the reason for his hospitalization; his concern was over the status of his job. (D.'s 12(M) Statement at 11, ¶¶ 40-42.)

On this same day, Dawson, Rich and Lawson decided to temporarily promote another employee to Quigley's supervisory position. Austeel alleges that the bases for this decision were Quigley's interpersonal problems with other employees, Quigley's failure to attend the supervisor classes, and Quigley's inability to perform his supervisory functions. (Id. at 12, ¶ 44.) Furthermore, Austeel contends that Quigley's supervisors were unaware of Quigley's enrollment in a drug treatment program at the time of this decision. (Id. at 12, ¶ 45.) Quigley, however, asserts that the basis for the decision to promote another employee to Quigley's supervisory position was his admission to BroMenn Healthcare for in-patient treatment. (Pl.'s 12(N) Statement at 8, ¶ 45.)

Quigley returned to work on August 25, 1997 and provided documentation of his inpatient treatment and his aftercare program. Following Quigley's return, Austeel issued a warning to Quigley after he drove down the plant road at a high speed and recklessly passed other vehicles.*fn2 Although, he admits to receiving a warning, Quigley contends that he was never involved in any driving incidents. (Pl.'s Dep. at 143, ¶¶ 12-23.) Austeel also alleges that after his return, "Quigley did not perform his assigned tasks, but instead wandered around the plant complaining about his perceived mistreatment at the hands of the Company." (D.'s 12(M) Statement at 20, ¶ 80.) According to Austeel, it terminated Quigley's employment based upon the above incidents and Quigley's prior disciplinary history. (Id. at 21, ¶ 81.)

On August 11, 1998, Quigley filed a two-count complaint against Austeel. Count I was a claim for disability discrimination pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and Count II was a claim for breach of contract pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

On February 23, 1999, Quigley moved to amend his complaint. The court granted this motion and Quigley filed his Amended Complaint on March 18, 1999. The Amended Complaint consists of three counts. Both Count I and Count II are claims for disability discrimination under the ADA and Count III is a claim for breach of contract pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Count I alleges that Austeel violated the ADA by terminating Quigley's employment because of his status as a recovering drug addict.*fn3 Count II alleges that Austeel violated the ADA by terminating Quigley's employment because of ...


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