Missouri State Court Grants Summary Judgment in Disability Discrimination and Retaliation Suit03/17/2022
On March 17, 2022, Judge Elliott of the Circuit Court of Clinton County, Missouri, granted summary judgment in favor of the City of Plattsburg and former Police Chief Larry Jackson in an employment discrimination lawsuit asserting disability discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiff Christopher Harrison, a probationary police officer, asserted he was terminated for having epilepsy and retaliated against for objecting to the City’s investigation procedure after Harrison tested positive for morphine. Franke Schultz & Mullen Partner Jill Frost Smith represented both defendants arguing Plaintiff could not establish the prima facia elements required under the Missouri Human Rights Act to maintain a cause of action.
In granting the City and former Police Chief summary judgment, Judge Elliott ruled the Plaintiff’s epilepsy was not a disability under the Missouri Humans Rights Act nor was Plaintiff “regarded as” or having a “record of” disability pursuant to the law. The Court ruled Plaintiff’s retaliation claim deficient for failing to establish causation between the discrimination claim and termination, entitling Defendants to summary judgment.