Monday, August 19, 2013

Wounded Veteran Wins Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against FBI

Late last month I wrote a brief article on the trial set in Wisconsin native Justin Slaby's lawsuit against the FBI when he was dismissed from FBI  training academy due to his prosthetic hand.  The trial has since ended and a jury awarded Slaby $75,000 in damages and reinstatement back into the academy.

From the article on the jury award and trial:

During the trial, Slaby showed the jury that he could hold a gun and pull the trigger with his prosthetic hand, which resembles a mechanical claw. Lawyers for the FBI argued that a piece of the claw could accidentally bump the trigger because of his grip. 
But Slaby’s attorney, Kathy Butler, argued that the FBI prejudged Slaby even before he was tested and decided they were not going to give him a chance. 
John Griffin, another attorney for the veteran, argued that Slaby, who is right-handed, can fire a gun with his uninjured right hand, and that there is no FBI requirement that an agent prove he can fire a gun with his non-dominant hand. He also argued that other FBI agents have injuries similar to Slaby’s.
Any time a plaintiff wins a disability discrimination case it is a big deal because it is difficult to win such claims, even in light of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act.  Slaby still has hurdles as the FBI could appeal and even if they do not, he still has to get through training academy.  Congrats to Mr. Slaby either way.

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