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May 8, 2018

4th Cir.: State disability findings may deserve substantial weight

An administrative law judge erred in according little weight to a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services determination that the Social Security claimant qualified as disabled. The ALJ also didn’t consider the limited extent to which the claimant could perform daily activities. Background Billie Jean Woods appeals the Social Security Administration’s denial of […]

Apr 27, 2018

WDVA: Blind man not harmed by inaccessible website

A blind plaintiff lacked standing to sue a Virginia bank for maintaining a website without reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, as he lived 300 miles from the nearest branch. Further, the bank’s voluntary upgrades – made prior to the suit – mooted his claim. Background Plaintiff Keith Carroll is permanently blind, using a screen […]

Apr 27, 2018

EDVA: Disability, equal protection claims against VBBE dismissed

A law student who was denied testing accommodations by the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners should have sought state-court review. In addition, the Board was immune from the disability claims, and the student failed to state a Fourteenth Amendment claim. Background In 2012, Plaintiff Donshur Oliver was diagnosed with ADHD, an Adjustment Disorder, and Mixed […]

Mar 26, 2018

WDVA: Disabled vet’s disparate-treatment claim is triable

A veteran who later went to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but whose employment was later terminated, presented genuine issues of material fact as to whether she was an individual with a disability and whether the VA’s proffered explanation for firing her was a pretext for disability discrimination. Background Plaintiff Amber Patton, […]

Mar 19, 2018

EDVA: Separation was due to absences, not disability

Although the plaintiff’s employment was terminated a matter of days after she disclosed her disability, her much-longer history of excessive absences — unrelated to her disability — constituted a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for separation. Background On April 22, 2013, Plaintiff Rachel Watson began work on a probationary basis as a mental health therapist for the […]

Feb 19, 2018

Training center closures go forward

This case began with a complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the Commonwealth violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. That complaint was resolved via consent decree, which required the Commonwealth to change the way it provides services to its intellectually and developmentally disabled populations. The court closed the case after approving the […]

Jun 12, 2017

Paraplegic man prevails on appeal of disability bias claim – $100,000 plus medicals and attorney’s fees

Complainant is a 26-year employ­ee of the Defense Logistics Agency in Richmond and is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. He was subjected to repeated instances of harassment and discrimination because of his disability. His super­visor made disparaging remarks about his disability over a period of more than a year and unfairly removed him from […]

Mar 10, 2017

VRS used the wrong standard on disability

A teacher has won another chance to prove she is disabled from teaching elementary school chil­dren, because the Virginia Retire­ment System did not stick to the statutory standard for evaluating the teacher’s claim, according to a Fairfax Circuit Court. In denying disability benefits to Fair­fax teacher Lydia Buschenfeldt, the VRS said she was not disabled […]

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