Thompson Legal Center Attorneys James Thompson and Kathryn Hopkinson along with EEOC Attorneys Kimberly Cruz, Anna Martinez and Muslima Lewis Win Rare Plaintiff’s Summary Judgment in ADA Case

Court finds that ATM, a Florida manufacturer, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired an employee because he had a back surgery six years prior.  The manufacturer required Mr. Matanic to pass a physical examination after it hired him and required him to go to  a local medical facility for an examination.  The medical facility, upon learning that Mr. Matanic had a prior surgery, required a medical release from the doctor who performed the surgery six years prior.  Mr. Matanic could not produce the release, the medical facility would not perform an evaluation and ATM fired Mr. Matanic for failing to pass his post-employment offer physical.

The Court held that ATM and the medical facility failed to give an individualized medical assessment as required by the ADA and failed to even conduct an individualized medical examination when they determined Matanic was medically unfit.  Instead, ATM fired Mr. Matanic based on its perception that he was disabled and was a risk to himself. This perception was based solely on Matanic’s medical history.

The Court further found that ATM could not hide behind the fact that the medical provider it hired had not cleared Mr. Matanic for work.  Because ATM contracted the medical determination out to a third party, the third party medical facility acted as an agent for ATM with respect to any decision by ATM based on its conclusion.  ATM was therefore responsible for its own decision to discharge Mr. Matanic after the medical facility refused to clear him.