Bell v. Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co.

The Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant as a dispatcher from 1987 until his termination in November 1993.  Suffering from asthma and, when exposed to cigarette smoke, bronchial spasms, the Plaintiff filed suit alleging violations of the ADA, the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act (ICIAA) and battery.  The Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint.  On March 13, 1996, the District Court denied the motion to dismiss the ADA claim but allowed the motion to dismiss the claim alleging battery.  Noting that the Defendant did not contest that Bell’s asthma may substantially limit his ability to breathe, the court ruled that the Plaintiff “need not show that his ability to work is ‘substantially limited’ if his ability to breathe is so limited.”  Since the Defendant does not show that Bell “could not prove that his ability to breathe is substantially limited by his asthma, its motion to dismiss Mr. Bell’s ADA claim is denied.”

The Defendant moved for summary judgment as to the ICIAA count.  The statute says that “no person shall smoke in a public place.”  The court, at 957 F. Supp. 1025, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9379, denied the motion for summary judgment, ruling that Bell had “presented evidence that he was fired because he sought to exercise his rights under the ICIAA.”

919 F. Supp. 308, 6 AD Cases 1155, 1996 U.S. LEXIS 2998 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D., Ill. 1996).