United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
RONALD SMITH, JASON LLOYD, DAVID KACZKOWSKI, and TERRI ALBRIGHT, Plaintiffs,
DUPAGE COUNTY SHERIFF and COUNTY OF DUPAGE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN United States District Judge
Ronald Smith, Jason Lloyd, David Kaczkowski, and Terri
Albright, filed a four-count complaint against DuPage County
and the DuPage County Sheriff's Department, stemming from
their employment as DuPage County Sheriff's Deputies.
This Court dismissed Counts II-IV. Plaintiffs now move for
summary judgment  on the issue of liability on Count I,
arguing that there is no genuine issue of material fact on
the defendants' failure to reasonably accommodate their
disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12112 et
seq. Defendants also move for summary judgment . For
the reasons stated below, this Court denies both motions.
following facts are taken from the parties' Local Rule
56.1 statements of material fact. The plaintiffs are all
employed as deputy sheriffs with the DuPage County
Sheriff's Department. (Dkt. 48, Defs. Resp. to Pls. LR
56.1 Statement of Facts, at ¶ 1). Each plaintiff
experienced some sort of work related injury.
Ronald Smith injured his back while responding to a traffic
incident on March 13, 2014. (Id. at ¶ 4). The
injury aggravated a pre-existing back condition, and it kept
him from working as a full-time patrol officer until August
27, 2014. (Dkt. 48 ¶ 5). Smith was diagnosed with
sacroiliitis. (Dkt. 57, Pls. Resp. to Defs. LR 56.1
Statement of Facts, at ¶ 51). Two months after Smith
returned as a full-duty patrol officer, he injured his foot
at work. (Dkt. 48 ¶ 6). Smith informed his supervisor
that his doctor restricted him to jobs involving minimal
walking. (Id.). Smith e-mailed his supervisor
requesting light duty positions, but he never received a
response to the request. (Id. at ¶ 8). Smith
did not return as a full-duty patrol officer until September
2015. (Id. at ¶ 6).
Jason Lloyd slipped on ice while responding to a traffic
accident on January 10, 2014. (Id. at 10). As a
result of the fall, Lloyd suffered a head and back injury,
and tore the labrum in his hip. (Dkt. 48 ¶ 10; Dkt. 57
¶ 39). Lloyd's doctors would not release him to work
full duty until his labrum was surgically repaired. (Dkt. 48
¶ 11). On May 20, 2014, Lloyd's doctor released him
to work in a light duty position, and he requested work in a
light duty capacity. (Dkt. 48 ¶ 11; Dkt. 57 ¶ 41).
In November of 2015, Lloyd returned to work in a light duty
capacity. (Dkt. 57 ¶ 40). On October 4, 2016, Lloyd
returned to full-duty work as a Sheriff's patrol deputy.
(Dkt. 57-3 ¶ 5).
David Kaczkowski slipped on ice while on duty and suffered a
back injury on March 13, 2014. (Dkt. 48 ¶ 18). On April
21, 2014, Kaczkowski's physician released him for light
duty, and he made requests for a light duty assignment. (Dkt.
57 ¶ 23; Dkt. 48 ¶ 21). In November of 2015, he was
assigned to a light duty position in the Warrant Call Center.
(Dkt. 57 ¶ 25). On June 10, 2016, Kaczkowski returned to
work as a full-duty Sheriff's patrol deputy. (Dkt. 57-1
Terri Albright injured her arm and wrist on August 5, 2013
when she attempted to remove an individual from a house after
responding to a domestic disturbance call. (Dkt. 57 ¶
4). After her injury, Albright requested light duty
assignments. (Id. at ¶ 7). Albright returned to
work full-time in a light duty position on November 9, 2015,
in the Warrant Call Center. (Id. at ¶ 10; Dkt.
48 ¶ 33). On July 2, 2016, Albright returned to work as
a full-duty Sheriff's patrol deputy. (Dkt. 57-2 ¶
Albright, Kaczkowski, and Lloyd each received a full-year
regular salary according to the Public Employees Disability
Act (“PEDA”) for the first year that they were on
leave. (Dkt. 57 at ¶¶ 11, 29, 45). After their
first year on leave and up until they returned to full-time
work in a light duty capacity, Albright and Kaczkowski each
received total temporary disability (“TTD”)
payments pursuant to their individual worker's
compensation claims. (Id. at ¶¶ 12, 30).
TTD payments equal two-thirds of an employee's salary
without withholding taxes and pension contributions.
(Id. at ¶ 31). Lloyd did not receive TTD
payments until his worker's compensation arbitrator
ordered the benefits to be paid. (Dkt. 57-3 ¶ 4). Smith
received his full salary pursuant to PEDA for his first
period of medical leave between March 13, 2014, and August
27, 2014. (Dkt. 53 ¶ 55). During his second period of
medical leave from October 31, 2014, to mid-September 2015,
Smith received workers' compensation. (Dkt. 53 ¶
Sheriff's Office is bound by a DuPage County policy which
states that if an employee is off work after using twelve
weeks of Family Medical Leave, then the employee is
responsible for their entire health insurance premium. (Dkt.
57 ¶ 68). All of the plaintiffs had to change their
insurance plans and pay higher premiums as a result of the
policy. (Id. at ¶¶ 19, 33, 48, 55, 61).
this time, the Sheriff's Office believed that each
plaintiff's disability was temporary and that they would
return to full-duty as deputies after physician approval.
(Id. at ¶ 71). The Sheriff maintained the
plaintiffs' position and seniority while they were on
medical leave. (Id. at ¶ 75).
judgment is proper when “the admissible evidence shows
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” McGreal v. Vill. of Orland Park, 850
F.3d 308, 312 (7th Cir. 2017), reh'g denied
(Mar. 27, 2017) (quoting Hanover Ins. Co. v. N. Bldg.
Co., 751 F.3d 788, 791 (7th Cir. 2014)); Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). In deciding whether summary judgment is appropriate,
this Court accepts the nonmoving party's evidence as true
and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 244,
106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
court is not required to grant summary judgment as a matter
of law for either side when faced with cross-motions for
summary judgment. Rather, the court is to evaluate each
motion on its merits, resolving factual uncertainties and
drawing all reasonable inferences against the movant.”
Crespo v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of ...