Jury Reaches Defense Verdict in Favor of Marion County Sheriff’s Office in ADA lawsuit

September 17, 2018

A federal jury on Friday, September 14, reached a defense verdict on all counts in favor of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in an ADA lawsuit brought by current employee Brigid Ford. Ms. Ford alleged that the MCSO failed to accommodate her and harassed her because of her disability.

The jury returned its verdict Friday after a four-day trial. The jury found in favor of the MCSO and determined that it did not fail to reasonably accommodate Ms. Ford. The jury also found in favor of the MCSO on Ms. Ford’s harassment claim and determined that the MCSO did not harass Ms. Ford because of her disability.

Ms. Ford sued the MCSO in December 2015, claiming that the MCSO violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against her on the basis of her disability, retaliating against her after she requested accommodations and reported discrimination, subjecting her to a hostile work environment on the basis of her disability, and failing to accommodate her disability.

The MCSO denied it discriminated or retaliated against Ms. Ford or that it failed to accommodate her disability. Further, the MCSO denied that Ms. Ford was subject to a hostile work environment.

In September 2017, the Court entered summary judgment in the MCSO’s favor on all counts except for (1) whether the MCSO failed to accommodate Ms. Ford when it moved her from a fixed work schedule to a rotating schedule; and (2) whether Ms. Ford was subject to a hostile work environment by two of her former coworkers.

The case before Judge William T. Lawrence in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is entitled Brigid A. Ford v. the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, 1:15-cv-01989-WTL-DML. Kevin W. Betz, Sandra L. Blevins, and Courtney E. Endwright of Betz and Blevins represent Plaintiff Brigid A. Ford. Anthony W. Overholt, Kevin C. Schiferl, Stephanie V. McGowan, and Jennifer A. Rulon of Frost Brown Todd LLC represent the Defendant Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

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