Deane V. Pocono Medical Center

Deane V. Pocono Medical Center

This is an appeal by Stacy L. Deane from an order of the district court granting summary judgment to her former employer, Pocono Medical Center (“PMC”), on Deane’s claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA” or the “Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq. In enacting the ADA, Congress intended that the scope of the Act would extend not only to those who are actually disabled, but also to individuals wrongly regarded by employers as being disabled. Deane, a registered nurse, sued PMC under the ADA as such a “regarded as” plaintiff to redress PMC’s failure to accommodate her in a manner that would enable her to retain her position following a work-related injury that affected her ability to do heavy lifting.*fn4 The case came before the en banc court to settle the question that divided the original panel — whether “regarded as” plaintiffs, in order to be considered qualified under the ADA, must show that they are able to perform all of the functions of the relevant position or just the essential functions, with or without accommodation. The panel decided that they must be able to perform all of the functions. Before the en banc court, neither party supported that position, and we now reject it, concluding that the plain language of the ADA requires proof only of a plaintiff ‘s ability to perform a position’s essential functions.

Deane V. Pocono Medical Center



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