On Thursday, February 19, 2015 a unanimous jury in Arizona District Court returned a verdict in favor of BurnsBarton client Kingman Hospital, Inc., d/b/a/ Kingman Regional Medical Center (“KRMC”). During the three-day trial, Plaintiff Chappell Grant-Willis alleged that KRMC violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Arizona Civil Rights Act (“ACRA”) by terminating her employment and failing to provide her with reasonable accommodations for her disability (Plaintiff’s claims under the FMLA and retaliation in violation of the ADA and FMLA were dismissed on summary judgment). Specifically, Grant-Willis claimed that KRMC should have permitted her to continue to work remotely, as it had done so for nine months before it asked her to return to work on-site. Grant-Willis was a database administrator in the IT department and she argued that she could perform the essential functions of her job from a remote workstation at home. KRMC argued that Grant-Willis’ respiratory problems were not a disability under the ADA and she was not a qualified individual under the Act. KRMC further argued that Grant-Willis’ proposed accommodation of working remotely was not reasonable. Grant-Willis filed an EEOC charge while she was employed at KRMC, and amended the charge after KRMC terminated her employment. The 9-member federal jury from Northern Arizona found in favor of KRMC in less than 40 minutes.
KRMC is a regional not-for-profit trauma center and hospital in Kingman, Arizona. It employs over 1,700 individuals. KRMC’s mission statement, “Serving our Community with Compassion and Commitment” guides its treatment of its patients, as well as employees.
BurnsBarton PLC is an Arizona employment law firm, specializing in defending good employers.
Thanks, David and Christine, you were both wonderful, as always, in getting us to this decision!