Fitzgerald v. Lucent (civil rights)
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division; U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
Palmer proves employer recklessly violated disabled employee’s rights.
Mary Fitzgerald was a diabetic. She underwent dialysis several times a week. As a long-term employee of Lucent Technologies, she had performed various jobs. She was still physically able to perform a number of the jobs, but could not lift over a certain weight. Lucent terminated her employment. Mary filed a claim in U.S. District Court for violation of both the federal and state laws against discrimination against persons with disabilities. After a several day trial, the jury awarded $560,000 compensatory damages and $1,600,000 in punitive damages. Lucent appealed to the United State Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The case was settled for a confidential amount while the appeal was pending.