Little v. Ford Motor Company

Little filed a lawsuit alleging that he has asthma and an allergy to cigarette smoke and that Ford failed to place him in a smoke-free environment as an accommodation.  On April 8, 1999, a jury found in Ford’s favor both on Little’s disability discrimination claim and his claim for retaliation.  Ford moved for reasonable attorneys’ fees on the grounds that Little’s claim was frivolous and unreasonable.  The district court awarded Ford $15,161.25 for reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.  The court found that Little “provided no evidence to show that this alleged impairment substantially limits his ability to work generally.”  A Ford surveillance video had shown “Little sitting at a table at the bar for approximately an hour with patrons and employees smoking cigarettes and cigars very near him.  Rather than suffering any discomfort or allergic reaction, Little was shown to be enjoying himself a great deal.  He also testified that he frequents the river boat casinos where smoking is permitted.”

1999 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 13552, 9 AD Cases 830 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Mo. 1999).