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KRESGE v. CIRCUITEK

March 24, 1997

DENNIS J. KRESGE Plaintiff,
v.
CIRCUITEK, DIVISION OF TDI, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

 Joyner, J.

 March 24, 1997

 INTRODUCTION

 This federal question action concerns an alleged breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act, (the "ADA"), as codified at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, ("PHRA") as codified at 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann § 951 et seq.

 Plaintiff claims that defendant withdrew an offer of employment, because of a false perception that plaintiff suffered from a disability which would affect his ability to perform adequately on the job. Defendant claims that the offer of employment was withdrawn because plaintiff did not pass a medical examination and therefore could not meet the physical requirements of the job. Accordingly, defendant has brought this summary judgment motion. Nevertheless, we have denied defendant's motion.

 In April 1994, Circuitek placed an advertisement for an electroplater in the newspaper. Plaintiff responded to the advertisement and applied for the position on April 12, 1994. According to defendant, plaintiff was offered the position conditioned upon the results of an employment pre-placement examination. After the examination, Dr. Davidson, who examined plaintiff, recommended that plaintiff not do any work that requires prolonged standing or walking. Nevertheless, Dr. Davidson did indicate that plaintiff was recommended for the job. In any event, defendant refused to hire plaintiff after the examination.

 Defendant makes two primary arguments in support of its motion for summary judgment. First, Defendant argues that plaintiff is not disabled within the meaning of the ADA. Second, defendant contends that it has a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for failing to hire plaintiff, since plaintiff was unable to walk or stand for prolonged periods and the job analysis that defendant had prepared indicated that most of the electroplater's day would be spent walking and standing.

 In response to defendant's motion, plaintiff makes several factual assertions. First, plaintiff points out that Dr. Davidson recommended plaintiff for the job, and therefore, that plaintiff must be physically capable of performing the required tasks. Second, plaintiff claims that he was successfully doing similar work before he interviewed for a position with defendant, and therefore that he was not only qualified for the position but physically capable to perform the required tasks. In fact, plaintiff claims that the previous job was more strenuous and required lifting heavier objects yet, plaintiff asserts, he never had any problems accomplishing the tasks required at that job.

 In addition, plaintiff's makes several allegations about the events surrounding his interview and subsequent contact with defendant. These occurrences, plaintiff claims, demonstrate that defendant refused to hire him because defendant perceived plaintiff as disabled. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendant's personnel manager began questioning him about a previous worker's compensation claim arising from a knee injury, and that defendant then stated that insurance companies "are funny today." (Kresge Aff. P 19). Plaintiff also alleges that defendant called him after he was examined by Dr. Davidson to confirm his starting date, but that the very next day, plaintiff received a call in which defendant indicated that he was not going to hire plaintiff because of the previous worker's compensation claim. In addition, plaintiff claims that he was told by defendant that defendant had asked Dr. Davidson not to recommend plaintiff, because of concern that defendant's insurance rates would increase if they hired plaintiff. Defendant then allegedly asked plaintiff to sign a form releasing them from liability with respect to his knee injury and plaintiff agreed. Nevertheless, plaintiff was refused access to defendant's property when he went to sign the form. Finally, plaintiff claims that defendant told him that they offered the job to another gentleman who was approximately plaintiff's size, and then had told their doctor not to approve him, so that if plaintiff sued them, they would be able to state that they had not hired the other gentlemen either.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) authorizes the court to grant summary judgment if there is no genuine material issue of fact. In deciding the motion, the court is constrained to draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Gans v. Mundy, 762 F.2d 338, 340 (3d. Cir. 1985). If a reasonable jury could find in favor of the non-moving party, summary judgment will not be granted. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). Rather, the summary judgment standard requires the moving party to show that the case is so one-sided that it should prevail as a matter of law. Id. at 252. Nevertheless, the non-moving party must raise more than a ...


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