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Logan v. City of Lincoln

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

July 20, 2017

KEVIN LOGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF LINCOLN, ILLINOIS, Defendant.

          OPINION.

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendant City of Lincoln, Illinois has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 17). Because genuine issues of material fact remain, the Motion is DENIED.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Kevin Logan worked for Defendant as a laborer in Defendant's Streets and Alleys Department until Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment in April 2014. In November 2015, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Defendant under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant violated the ADA by failing to engage in the interactive process, refusing to provide Plaintiff with a reasonable accommodation, and terminating Plaintiff's employment because of his disability.

         In April 2017, Defendant filed its Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant asserts that Plaintiff cannot establish that he is a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA or that his employment was terminated because of his disability.

         In his response, Plaintiff states that he is not claiming that he was fired because of a disability. Pl. Resp. at 13, n. 3 (d/e 19). Instead, Plaintiff argues that Defendant failed to accommodate Plaintiff's disability and, had Defendant made the accommodation, Plaintiff's employment would have not have been terminated. Id. The dispute on summary judgment centers on whether operating commercial vehicles and equipment/machinery[1] are essential functions of the laborer position held by Plaintiff.

         II. FACTS

         The Court takes the following facts from the parties' Statement of Undisputed Facts and other materials in the record. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3) (“The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.”).

         In February 1999, Defendant hired Plaintiff to work as a laborer in its Streets and Alleys Department. The duties and responsibilities of the street department laborer position in place throughout Plaintiff's employment with Defendant are contained in the Position Description, which provides as follows:

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF WORK:
Under direct supervision, performs maintenance and repair of roads, bridges, signs, road striping, and related functions by semiskilled operation of tools, equipment, and light and heavy vehicles.
EXAMPLES OF WORK BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
1. Repairs, replaces and patches bituminous, concrete and other road surfaces; repairs and clean[s] culverts, storm grates, gutters[;] fills low places and ruts in shoulders; repair and paint guard rails; performs hand mowing and trimming; straightens, erects and cleans traffic signs and signals; trim and remove trees; plow snow, salt roads and shovel [handicap] ramps.
2. Operate trucks, tractors, mowing machines, snow plows, salt spreaders, compressors, motor graders, loaders, backhoes and other equipment as assigned.
3. Assist in servicing equipment such as trucks, tractors, mowing machines, snow plows, salt spreaders, compressors and other street equipment; lubricates and make[s] minor adjustments, and minor reports of assigned equipment.
4. Performs routine housekeeping duties by cleaning, maintaining stock piles of materials and other task[s] associated with the general care of work area and equipment; performs normal security measures in work area.
5. Directs traffic where road repairs are being made.
6. Perform other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties enumerated above.

         In addition, under the heading “Desirable Requirements, ” the Position Description lists the following: “Requires possession of an Illinois Class ‘B' commercial driver[']s license with appropriate ...


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