“Stomach Problems” Do Not Amount To A Disability Under ADA

Donald Hickey is a police officer employed by the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Hickey brought a lawsuit against the City, alleging that it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it recently failed to reasonably accommodate his disability. The disability alleged by Hickey was “stomach problems.”

A federal court had no problem dismissing Hickey’s lawsuit. The Court found that “Hickey’s stomach problems do not rise to the level of a disability; namely, his physical impairment does not substantially limit one or more major life activities.”

The Court did deny the City’s request that Hickey pay its attorney’s fees. The Court pronounced that it was “satisfied from Hickey’s testimony that he suffered from the presence of a bothersome stomach ailment.

Furthermore, Hickey testified that two fellow police officers were granted residency waivers. Possessed with this knowledge, it was not unreasonable for Hickey to request a like waiver to live outside the city limits as a reasonable accommodation from the City. Based on these facts, we cannot state with certainty that Hickey’s ADA claim was frivolous, unreasonable or without merit, nor may we reward the City attorney’s fees.”

Hill v. City of Scranton, 2005 WL 2371989 (M.D.Pa. 2005).

This article appears in the November 2005 issue