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GASSER v. RAMSEY

October 10, 2000

NEAL F. GASSER, PLAINTIFF,
V.
CHARLES H. RAMSEY, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Neal F. Gasser, a District of Columbia police officer, brings suit against his employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791 et seq.*fn1 Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has discriminated against him on the basis of disability, real or perceived, by placing him on limited duty, restricting him to desk work and (for a limited period of time) forbidding him from wearing his uniform and carrying his gun. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant perceives him to be disabled because he was diagnosed with a Protein S deficiency in June 1996 and must take prescription medication, Coumadin, to prevent his blood from clotting.

Before this Court is Defendant Charles H. Ramsey's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Upon consideration of the parties' pleadings and the entire record herein, Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings [# 15] is denied.

II. Statement of Facts*fn2

Plaintiff has been a police officer with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department for over thirteen years. Plaintiff alleges that he has regularly received positive performance evaluations and has received two promotions, most recently to the position of Supervisory Sergeant in May 1994. Plaintiff alleges that he performed his full duties as Supervisory Sergeant from January 1997 through December 1998, and that throughout that period he had informed the Police and Fire Clinic ("the Clinic"), which is responsible for the medical treatment of D.C. police officers, that he took the prescription drug Coumadin.

In December 1998 Plaintiff sprained his wrist in an off-duty car accident. He promptly reported the accident to Defendant and submitted to examination by the Clinic as required. He alleges he was "temporarily disabled" for three weeks due to his sprain. When he returned to the Clinic at the end of the three weeks, Plaintiff alleges that the Clinic's physician told him he could not return to full duty solely because he took Coumadin. According to Plaintiff, the physician's rationale was that any severe trauma could lead to Plaintiff's death from blood loss.

Defendant sent Plaintiff to an independent medical examiner specializing in hematology and oncology, who prepared a report for the Clinic on June 25, 1999, concluding that Plaintiff could return to full duty. Plaintiff alleges that he was subsequently sent to another doctor who did not specialize in hematology, who prepared a report on August 19, 1999, that "recommended that Plaintiff be restricted to office duties, but which allowed Plaintiff to perform `[] full duty activities.'" Complaint at 4. Plaintiff states that his treating physician provided Defendant with a written report concluding that Plaintiff could perform his full duties.

Defendant kept Plaintiff on limited duty until December 1999, when he was finally granted permission to wear his uniform and badge and carry his weapon but still restricted to office work. Plaintiff alleges that other supervisors currently work substantial overtime and for outside employers, but that Defendant prevents Plaintiff from doing either.

Plaintiff states that he filed a claim of disability discrimination with the EEOC on August 12, 1999, and that the EEOC has authorized him to bring suit. Plaintiff requests that this Court order Defendant to return Plaintiff to full duty, to pay his lost wages and benefits with interest, to compensate him for pain and suffering, to pay punitive damages, and to pay his costs. Plaintiff also seeks an injunction to prevent Defendant from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

III. Standard of Review

Because this is a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court must "view the facts presented in the pleadings and the inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party." Moore v. United States, 213 F.3d 705, 713 n. 7 (D.C.Cir. 2000) (internal citations and quotations omitted). The Court may not consider evidence "outside the scope of the complaint." Terry v. Reno, 101 F.3d 1412, 1423 (D.C.Cir. 1996). The moving party must show "that no material issue of fact remains to be solved, and that he or she is clearly entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Haynesworth v. Miller, 820 F.2d 1245, 1249 n. 11 (D.C.Cir. 1987) (citing numerous cases).

IV. Analysis

A. Requirements for Bringing an ...


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