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Baum v. Metro Restoration Services, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

June 12, 2018

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

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge.

         This matter is before the court on the second motion of the Defendant, Metro Restoration Services, Inc. (“Metro Restoration”), for summary judgment. (DN 40.) For the reasons discussed below, the court will GRANT the Defendant's motion. I.BACKGROUND The facts of this case were previously recounted at length in this court's Memorandum Opinion entered on March 9, 2017 (DN 25.) However, the court briefly will review the facts and procedural history of this case.

         A. Factual Background

         The Plaintiff, Jonathan C. Baum (“Baum”) began working at Metro Restoration in May of 2013. (DN 23-1, 38.) Metro Restoration is a restoration company that remediates properties after severe weather events or other events resulting in the destruction of properties. (Id.) In his position as a scheduler at Metro Restoration, Baum's primary responsibility was to schedule crews of workers to remediate customers' properties. (Id. at 40.) While Baum claims that he was permitted to perform his work duties at home from his personal cell phone, the Defendant stated that Baum was still expected to participate in site visits, inventory equipment, and deliver equipment from crews. (DN 23-2, 16 - 17.) The Defendant also stated that Baum's work capabilities would be restricted by working from home because he would be unable to organize paperwork and lay out schedules like he could at the office. (DN 23-1, 74.)

         In 2014 and 2015, Baum experienced several personal life events that resulted in absences from work, including a separation and divorce. (Id. at 12.) In December of 2014, Baum was diagnosed with heart palpitations and an enlarged right ventricle in his heart. In February of 2015, Baum was diagnosed with an atrioventricular block, Mobitz type 1, Bradycardia, and chest pain. (Id. at 92; DN 23-4.) Baum missed work on several occasions for reasons related to these diagnoses. (DN 23-2, 30.) After one procedure, Baum's doctors imposed a brief weight restriction lasting less than one week. (DN 23-1, 105.) Nevertheless, Baum testified that his heart condition did not affect his ability to walk, perform manual tasks, care for himself, speak, breathe, learn, see, hear, or work. (Id. at 103 - 07.) He testified that at no point in his employment did he request accommodations for his heart condition. (Id. at 94.)

         Baum's direct supervisor at Metro Restoration was Patrick Cahill (“Cahill”), the owner and CEO of Metro Restoration. (DN 23-2, 33.) On April 8, 2015, Cahill went to Baum's house and informed him that he was terminated from his position as a scheduler. (DN 23-1, 84 - 85.) According to Baum, Cahill told him that he was terminated because his “health issues and doctors' appointments” were causing him to miss too much work. (Id. at 86.) Metro Restoration's office manager allegedly recorded 18 days between January and April of 2015 that Baum left the office early or failed to appear at the office altogether. (DN 23-2, 114.)

         Cahill testified that Baum was “way too busy with his child care and health issues and doctor's appointments and everything but the job I hired him to do.” (Id. at 122.) However, Cahill also offered Baum an alternative position with the company as an estimator. (DN 23-1, 87.) Baum claimed he could not accept this position as it would require him to get on roofs, which he was not comfortable doing. (Id. at 90 - 91.) Baum started a new job at a metal shop in November of 2015. (Id. at 27, 29.) In 2016, Baum left his job at the metal shop and accepted a position at Ford Motor Company. (Id. at 20.)

         B. Procedural History

         Baum filed a Complaint against Metro Restoration in Jefferson County, Kentucky Circuit Court, which was subsequently removed to this court on October 19, 2015 pursuant 28 U.S.C §§ 1331 and 1441. The Complaint alleges two counts: (1) discrimination based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (“KCRA”); and (2) a violation of the Kentucky Equal Opportunities Act (“KEOA”).

         On March 9, 2017, this court granted in part and denied in part the Defendant's first motion for summary judgment. The court granted Metro Restoration's motion for 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 to his ability to lift and work; (2) his ADA claim based on the Section 12102(1)(C) definition of a person with a disability; and (3) Baum's KCRA and KEOA claims.

         The court denied the Defendant's summary judgment motion as to Baum's ADA claim based on the Section 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 court declined to dismiss this claim because the Defendant did not address this specific issue in its briefing. As such, Baum's only remaining claim was his ADA claim based upon the definition of a disability to the extent it substantially limited his circulatory and cardiovascular systems.

         Metro Restoration filed a motion to alter or amend the court's March 9, 2017 opinion and order. The court denied this motion, finding that the Defendant's arguments on the motion were “primarily a request to have another chance to present its case to the Court” which was “procedurally improper” under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or 60(b). (DN 32, 6.)

         On September 7, 2017, Metro Restoration filed a second motion for summary judgment, which is now before the court.

         II. ...


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