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11th Circuit Rejects Personal Liability Under ADA, Florida AIDS Law

In a case of first impression the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld the dismissal of claims by the plaintiff that he was subjected to discrimination based on his HIV status and retaliation by his employer, our client Advan Inc., and its individual officers. The plaintiff sued in federal court in Florida asserting discrimination and retaliation claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Florida Omnibus AIDS Act (FOAA). The trial court dismissed the claims against the officers individually and the 11th Circuit affirmed. It noted that the ADA's definition of “employer” is similar to that under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and neither of those laws provide for individual liability.

The court reached a similar result with respect to the FOAA claim. It noted that the FOAA is construed in accordance with the Florida Civil Rights Act, which is interpreted in conformity with the ADA. The court also affirmed dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against the company, finding that the plaintiff’s mailing a copy of the summons without the complaint was not valid service.

Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826 (11th Cir. 2007).


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