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Americans with Disabilities Act

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 15, 2023//

Americans with Disabilities Act

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//May 15, 2023//

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7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Donald Kinsella v. Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, LLC

Case No.: 22-2007

Officials: Sykes, Chief Judge, and Rovner and Brennan, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Americans with Disabilities Act

Kinsella was a field operator for Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations when, in June 2013, he suffered work-related knee injuries that left him unable to work for three years. He received disability benefits during that time and, in June 2016, his physician deemed him fit to work, but only in sedentary jobs.

An arbitrator rejected Kinsella’s claim that Baker Hughes, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to accommodate him. Kinsella sought vacatur of the award, contending the arbitrator exceeded his powers by requiring proof of discriminatory intent for his claim. But Kinsella misconstrues the arbitrator’s statements concerning a lack of evidence showing discriminatory intent. They were made as part of attributing fault on both sides for a breakdown in the interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation. So, the Seventh Circuit affirms the district court’s denial of vacatur. Baker Hughes also seeks sanctions, which were denied because Kinsella had colorable grounds for the appeal.

Affirmed.

Decided 05/08/23

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