January 28, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 28

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4th Cir. First to Apply "Disability" Definition Under ADAAA - ADA Amendments Act of 2008

On January 23rd, in a ground-breaking decision under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an injury that left the plaintiff unable to walk for seven months and that, without surgery, pain medication, and physical therapy, likely would have rendered the plaintiff unable to walk for far longer can constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Fourth Circuit in Summers v. Altarum Institute, Corp. indicated that it is the first appellate court to apply the ADAAA’s expanded definition of “disability.” 

The Court reversed a District Court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s case pursuant to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.  The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia based its dismissal of the plaintiff’s disability-based discharge claim on its view that the plaintiff’s impairment was temporary and therefore not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act. In its reversal, the Fourth Circuit held that the plaintiff “has unquestionably alleged a ‘disability’ under the ADAAA sufficiently plausible to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.”

© 2023 Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 25
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About this Author

Timothy M. McConville, Labor Law Attorney, Odin Feldman Law Firm
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Tim McConville has years of experience providing labor and employment law counsel to employers ranging from small entities to Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees. He brings a unique perspective to his management-side labor and employment practice because he understands the viewpoint of the individual employee based on his extensive experience advocating and representing individuals victimized by organized labor while he was a leader at the National Right to Work Committee and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. His clients rely on his ability to help them...

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