UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
March 10, 2006
PETER J. KAUFFMAN, PLAINTIFF,
FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge
This matter is now before the Court on the question of what remains of this case following remand from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. After discussions during a conference call revealed substantial disagreement among the parties as to the practical effect of the Seventh Circuit's ruling, the Court directed the parties to brief their respective positions. After considering the briefs and thoroughly reviewing the Court of Appeals' decision, the Court now finds that the Seventh Circuit's opinion makes the following holdings:
1. The doctor's certification provides enough information to satisfy the statute and is sufficient to establish Kauffman's entitlement to FMLA leave;
2. Kauffman has established liability on his claim for wrongful discharge based on interference with his substantive rights or entitlement under 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(1);
3. Kauffman no longer has a viable claim for wrongful discharge based on discrimination or retaliation under 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(2);
4. Accordingly, no issues regarding liability remain for trial. What does remain for trial is the question of damages on his interference/entitlement claim;
5. Kauffman may pursue a claim for liquidated damages.
The Court notes that this matter is set for a settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Gorman on March 29, 2006. In the event that settlement efforts are unsuccessful, the Court will contact the parties to set the damages phase of this matter for final pretrial conference and trial.
ENTERED this 9th day of March, 2006.
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