United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Richard P. Matsch, Senior Judge.
for Sustainable Energy, LLC (“Alliance”) is the
operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(“NREL”) in Golden, Colorado. Joseph Carpentier
worked as a computer specialist with Alliance from December,
2012, until he was discharged on December 29, 2014, for job
abandonment because of his failure to comply with a
requirement that he provide a medical clearance from a
cardiologist for his return to work after he had been sent
home on November 5, 2014, as a result of a perceived medical
emergency. He denied that he needed medical assistance and
asserted that he was able to work at his job that day.
April 24, 2015, Carpentier filed a Charge of Discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) alleging as follows:
I believe that I have been discriminated and retaliated
against within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 as amended (“ADA”). I have qualifying
disabilities within the meaning of the ADA and/or was
perceived as having a qualified disability by the Respondent.
18, 2015, Carpentier filed a claim for Social Security and
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) disability
benefits due to congestive heart failure. He was represented
by Benjamin Kennedy of Bachus & Schanker, LLC. The alleged
onset date was November 5, 2014.
October 10, 2016, Carpentier filed the complaint initiating
this civil action represented by Sara A. Green of Bachus &
Schanker. The pleading asserts discrimination on the basis of
his disability, his perceived disability and as retaliation
against him in violation of the ADA.
First Claim for Relief alleges that Carpentier had a
qualifying disability under the ADA of which Alliance was
aware as of October 8, 2014. In the Second Claim for Relief
he alleged that defendant perceived him as morbidly obese and
suffering from a heart condition and subjected him to
disability discrimination, including failing to provide a
temporary accommodation. The Third Claim for Relief alleges
discovery was completed, Alliance filed a motion for summary
judgment. A hearing was held on December 21, 2017, at which
Ms. Green informed that as of that date Carpentier was on
Social Security disability. Counsel for defendant advised
that this was not previously known to her.
result this Court ordered that plaintiff's counsel
provide the Social Security file. That was submitted with the
Plaintiff's Supplement (Doc. 21). The first paragraph
under Introduction reads as follows:
This is a claim for damages stemming from Defendant Alliance
for Sustainable Energy's (“Alliance”)
discrimination towards Joseph Carpentier
(“Carpentier”) because of his perceived
disability of morbid obesity and his disability of heart
disease, and the subsequent retaliation Carpentier
experienced, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 328 (1990)
(“ADA”). Because of his morbid obesity and heart
issues, Alliance denied him the opportunity of working,
retaliated against him, and terminated him because of his
actual and perceived disability.
hearing on the SSI claim was held on May 9, 2017, at which
Carpentier testified. He was represented by Benjamin Kennedy.
The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued his
written decision on July 19, 2017, finding Carpentier has
been disabled since November 5, 2014, because of severe
impairments of “congestive heart failure, obesity, and
hyperlipidemia.” The ALJ also found an impairment of
anxiety disorder which was not severe but was considered in
assessing residual functional capacity. The ALJ ...