Jury Trial Win in FMLA and ADA Case
An employee of our client CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas, was the single mother of a son with severe asthma that required periodic breathing treatments and administration of medicine. She requested and used intermittent FMLA leave for more than two years before she was terminated for excessive tardiness. She sued, alleging that St. Michael interfered with her FMLA rights, retaliated against her for exercising them and discriminated against her because of her association with a disabled person, her son. The case proceeded to jury trial in federal court in Texas. At trial, we demonstrated that the plaintiff’s morning activities exceeded the scope of her intermittent leave certified under the FMLA. The evidence showed that she had a pattern of sporadic, unpredictable tardiness regardless of her scheduled starting time, which she attributed to dropping off her four children at three different locations each morning. Further, we showed that she was offered but refused to consider alternatives that could have helped her arrive at work on time, and she could have avoided virtually all of her tardiness by simply leaving home a few minutes earlier in the mornings. After approximately one hour of deliberations the jury found in favor of St. Michael on all of the plaintiff’s claims.