Osborne v Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Osborne sued Baxter alleging violation of the Americans with disabilities Act. The district court granted summary judgment to Baxter and ordered the parties to bear their own costs. The panel reversed summary judgment and declared Baxter’s appeal of the costs order moot. Evaluating Osborne’s claim that she was qualified to monitor the plasma donation center despite her deafness, the panela held that two of her proposed accommodations could be reasonable and thus a factual dispute exists rendering summary judgment inappropriate. It held that reducing the monitoring duty is unreasonable as it does not eliminate the safety concerns that Osborne cannot hear the warning alarms and would still need to monitor some of the time even after the restructure. The panel held that use of visual or vibrating alarms was potentially reasonable as Baxter could ask the manufacturer to put these kinds of signals on its machines, other health care companies have done similar interventions and Baxter failed to prove undue hardship as it only pointed to the need to talk to the vendor. The panel held the use of donor call buttons in conjunction with the visual or vibrating alarm may be a reasonable accommodation because adverse reactions to plasma donation are rare, do not necessarily result in serious harm to the donor and thus Osborne would not be a direct threat to the safety of eth donors.. The panel noted that Baxter failed to provide any proof that donor would be unable to use the call button, there are times when donors will need to get eh attention of a hearing employee and the time to identify the distressed patient appears to be similar for hearing and deaf assistants. The panel also held there was a genuine issue as to whether Osborn can communicate verbally and thus summary judgment on that basis is inappropriate. The panel remanded for a jury to determine if the accommodations make Osborne a qualified candidate for the position. Based on eh remand it held the cost order was moot.

Attocknie v Smith

Attocknie sued Smith and the officer who shot and killed her husband under 42 USC 1983. Smith and the officer moved for judgment based on qualified immunity. The district court denied their motions. The panel affirmed. It held the officer’s assertion of the hot pursuit doctrine did not apply as the jury could believe that the officer lied about seeing the person he had a warrant to arrest or could credit the other witnesses who did not see the person and the person had not committed any felony committed in the officer’s presence. Thus, the officer violated clearly established law when he entered Attocknie’s home and shot and killed her husband. The panel affirmed as to Smith because his only argument on appeal was based on the officer not being his employee, the district court ruled the officer was his employee and Smith failed to challenge that ruling.