Jury Awards Indiana Medic $233,500 for Disability Discrimination

A fire department paramedic who was terminated after experiencing four diabetic low-blood sugar episodes at work over a two-year period, has prevailed on a disability discrimination suit in US District Court in Indianapolis.

Kristine Rednour worked for the Wayne Township Fire Department as a paramedic from 2009 to 2011. Rednour has Type I diabetes, which she treats with an insulin pump. After the fourth time she was unable to perform her duties due to a low blood sugar condition, she was terminated.

Rednour filed suit alleging that her termination violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Among the challenging issues in the case was the ADA requirement that an employee with a disability and the employer engage in an interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation. Rednour claims the fire department refused to engage in such a process. The fire department countered that engaging in the process was not possible because Rednour denied she needed an accommodation.

Last Friday, a jury awarded her $233,500, $123,500 for lost wages and benefits and $100,000 for emotional distress. Wayne Township has yet to decide whether the case will be appealed.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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