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Baum v. Metro Restoration Services, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky

May 18, 2017

JONATHAN C. BAUM PLAINTIFF
v.
METRO RESTORATION SERVICES, INC. DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge

         I. Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendant Metro Restoration Services, Inc. (“Metro Restoration”) to alter or amend the Court's March 9, 2017 memorandum opinion and order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), ECF No. 28. Plaintiff Jonathan C. Baum responded, ECF No. 30. Metro Restoration replied, ECF No. 31. For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny Metro Restoration's motion to alter or amend the March 9, 2017 memorandum opinion and order.

         II. Background

         The Court recounted the facts of this case at length in its March 9, 2017 memorandum opinion. See Mem. Op. 3/9/2017 1-7, ECF No. 25. The Court, however, believes a brief review of the events giving rise to the claims and the procedural history of the case would be of assistance in considering the current motion to amend or alter the March 9, 2017 memorandum opinion and order.

         Metro Restoration is a restoration company that remediates property after severe weather events. Baum Dep. 53-54, ECF No. 23-1. In May 2013, Metro Restoration hired Baum as a scheduler. Id. at 38. Baum's direct supervisor was Patrick Cahill, Metro Restoration's owner and CEO. Cahill Dep. 33, ECF No. 23-2.

         In 2014 and 2015, Baum began experiencing a number of personal events that caused him to miss work at Metro Restoration. For example, Baum and his wife separated in June of 2014 and were divorced in March of 2015. Baum Dep. 12, ECF No. 23-1. In December 2014, Baum was diagnosed with an enlarged right ventricle in his heart and heart palpitations. Id. at 92; Medical R. 2, ECF No. 23-4. In February 2015, Baum's diagnosis was changed to additionally include an atrioventricular block, Mobitz type 1, Bradycardia, and chest pain. Medical R. 2, ECF No. 23-5.

         On the weekend of Friday, April 3, 2015 through Sunday, April 5, 2015, there were a number of weather-related, catastrophic events that created business for Metro Restoration but during which Baum did not work at Metro Restoration's office. Id. at 57, 63-65. Four days later, on April 8, 2015, Cahill terminated Baum from his position as a scheduler. Id. at 84-85.

         Baum sued Metro Restoration in the Jefferson County, Kentucky Circuit Court for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA), Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 344.010, et seq., and the Kentucky Equal Opportunities Act (KEOA), Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 207.130, et seq. Compl., ECF No. 1-3. Baum asserted that (1) he was a qualified person with a disability because of his heart condition, which substantially limited him in the major life activities of lifting and working, as well as his circulatory and cardiovascular systems, and because he was “regarded as” a person with a disability, (2) Metro Restoration failed and refused to provide reasonable accommodations for his return to work despite his requests to do so, (3) his being a qualified person with a disability motivated Metro Restoration's decision to terminate him, and (4) these actions violated the ADA's and the KCRA's disability discrimination and retaliation provisions (Count I). Id. ¶¶ 22- 31. Baum also alleged that Metro Restoration terminated him because of his physical disability, which violated the anti-discrimination provisions of the KEOA (Count II). Id. ¶¶ 32-36. He sought compensatory damages, punitive damages, liquidated damages, and equitable relief reinstating him to his former position as a scheduler. Id. at 5. Metro Restoration removed the case to this Court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441. Not. Removal 1, ECF No.1.

         Metro Restoration then moved for summary judgment against all of Baum's claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). Mot. Summ. J. 1, ECF No. 18. Metro Restoration argued that Baum did not meet the definitions of a person with a disability provided by the ADA, KCRA, and KEOA, and thus his claims failed as a matter of law. Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 1, ECF No. 18-1.

         The Court granted in part and denied in part Metro Restoration's motion for summary judgment. Order 3/9/2017 1-2, ECF No. 26. The Court granted summary judgment on (1) Baum's ADA claim based on the 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1)(A) definition of a person with a disability to the extent that it involved substantial limitations on his ability to lift and work, (2) Baum's ADA claim based on the § 12102(1)(C) definition of a person with a disability, and (3) Baum's KCRA and KEOA claims. Id.

         The Court denied summary judgment on Baum's ADA claim based on the § 12102(1)(A) definition of a person with a disability to the extent that it involved alleged, substantial limitations on his circulatory and cardiovascular systems (“the circulatory-and-cardiovascular-defined ADA claim”). Id. The Court explained in its memorandum opinion that summary judgment was inappropriate because Metro Restoration never addressed the circulatory-and-cardiovascular-defined ADA claim in its motion, memorandum of law, or reply. Mem. Op. 3/9/2017 11-12, ECF No. 25. Metro Restoration thus failed to carry its burden of demonstrating under Rule 56(a) that there was not a genuine issue of material fact and that it was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law on the circulatory-and-cardiovascular-defined ADA claim. See id.

         III. Discussion

         Metro Restoration now moves to alter or amend the March 9, 2017 memorandum opinion and order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) and under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), and requests that the Court also grant summary judgment on the circulatory-and-cardiovascular-defined ...


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