Malone v. Specialty Products and Insulation Co. and IPEX, Corp.

Plaintiff, who suffers from chronic asthma, sued his former employers, alleging that they subjected him to discrimination on the basis of his disability and by failing to provide him with the reasonable accommodation he repeatedly requested (restrictions on smoking in conformance with the Defendants’ own established policies.)  Malone brought suit under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.  See Duffy, S., “Man Sues Employer for Lax Smoking Restrictions,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 8, 1997, 5.  The employer moved for summary judgment.

On February 17, 2000, the District Court (Joyner, J.), at 85 F. Supp.2d 503 (E.D.Pa. 2000) denied the motion as to the plaintiff’s ADA claim, holding that the claims falls within the statute of limitations.  “In this case, the non-accommodation alleged by Plaintiff constitutes a ‘continuous pattern’ of failing to respond to Plaintiff’s requests that his disability be accommodated,” the court ruled.  The court also ruled that the Plaintiff could pursue a recovery for physical damages under his ADA claim.  However, the court granted summary judgment as to the Plaintiff’s fourth cause of action — that the defendants negligently, recklessly or intentionally failed to provide a safe workplace — because the claim is barred by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which is the exclusive remedy for those claims.

12.8 TPLR 3.560, No. 97CV-7364 (U.S.D.C. E.D.Pa. 1997).