Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oregon Court of Appeals Rejects Mitigating Measures Rule Under State Law

Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued this opinion in which it ruled that the mitigating-measures rule of the Sutton case does not apply to Oregon's disability discrimination law (which otherwise generally follows the ADA's definition of disability). As a result, a court may not consider the effects of any mitigating measures such as medicines, prosthetics, etc., in determining whether a plaintiff has a substantial limitation on a major life activity. Aside from the legal holding, the case is interesting because of the mitigating measure at issue -- marijuana, which had been prescribed by a doctor pursuant to the Oregon medical marijuana law. The plaintiff had been fired from his job for testing positive for marijuana on urine tests. The appellate court, in its decision yesterday, reversed the trial court's dismissal of the plaintiff's disability discrimination claim.


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