Naomi Walton was a court security officer (CSO) employed by Akal Security, a private contractor with the U.S. Marshall Service (USMS), in federal courts ?of ?the ?Ninth ?Circuit.???? Among ?the ?29 essential functions of a CSO, according to the USMS, is the ability to determine the location and source ?of ?sound.???? An ?annual ?physical ?exam revealed that Walton?s ability to localize the direction of sound was compromised purportedly disqualifying her from working for the USMS, so Akal terminated her employment.? ?Walton sued under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 alleging that she was ?regarded as? disabled, see 29 C.F.R. ? 1630.2(l), in the major life activities of hearing and working, but the trial court disagreed granting summary judgment for the defendant.?? The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that Walton did not show that the USMS regarded the impairment it imputed to her as substantially limiting or that the impairment was objectively substantially limiting. The ?Court ?of ?Appeals ?held? that ?her ?expert?s opinion was insufficient to preclude summary judgment on the major life activity of hearing because the opinion did not state a factual basis. Finally, the court held that she failed to ?present specific evidence about relevant labor markets?, so she did not create a genuine issue of material fact in dispute about whether she was regarded as disabled in the major life activity of working. Walton? v.? U.S.? Marshals? Service,? 476? F.3d? 723 (9th Cir. 2007)
Plaintiff Unable to Establish that Employer Regarded Her as Disabled Under the ADA.
Jan 1, 2007