Bond v. Sheahan

Plaintiff sued the Defendant in his official capacity as Sheriff of Cook County for disability discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Ms. Bond began working as a corrections officer in 1978 and continued through 1998.  After suffering from a pulmonary embolism in December 1989, she began complaining about the presence of secondhand smoke at her workplace.  While the Sheriff’s Department codified a smoking policy in 1990, smoking nonetheless continued in all areas of the facility.  In March 1995, Ms. Bond was diagnosed with asthma.  After her asthma worsened and exposure to secondhand smoke continued, Ms. Bond resigned effective February 28, 1998. She sued, claiming that the Defendant discriminated against her in violation of the ADA by constructively discharging her because of her asthma, a conditioned aggravated by the secondhand smoke.  The Court dismissed the Defendant’s motion for summary judgement, ruling  that genuine issues of material fact exist concerning whether she was “disabled” for purposes of the ADA — specifically whether she is substantially limited in the major life activity of breathing.  Also, “a genuine issue of material fact does exist as to whether Ms. Bond could perform the essential functions of her position with or without reasonable accommodation.”  Moreover, a “genuine issue of material fact also exists regarding whether Defendant reasonably accommodated Ms. Bond’s asthma.”

152 F. Supp. 2d 1055, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10243 (U.S.D.C. N.D. Ill. E.Div. 2001).