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Reeves v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 17, 2014

SEAN REEVES, by his parents and next friends, JOHN AND DIANA REEVES, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
JEWEL FOOD STORES, INC., Defendant-Appellee

Argued May 20, 2014

Page 699

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 12 cv 06919 -- Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, Judge.

For SEAN REEVES, by his parents and next best friends, JOHN REEVES and DIANA REEVES, Court Appointed Guardians of a Disabled Person, Plaintiff - Appellant: Arthur Gold, Attorney, Gold & Associates, Ltd., Chicago, IL.

For JEWEL FOOD STORES, INC., and its parent doing business as: SUPERVALU INC., Defendant - Appellee: Gwendolyn B. Morales, Attorney, Michael A. Warner Jr., Attorney, Franczek Radelet P.C., Chicago, IL.

Before KANNE, TINDER, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 700

Kanne, Circuit Judge.

Sean Reeves, who has Down syndrome, sued his former employer, Jewel Food Stores (" Jewel" ), for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § § 12101 et seq. Reeves alleged that Jewel had discriminated against him because of his disability in violation of the ADA. He also claimed that Jewel had denied him a reasonable accommodation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Jewel on Reeves' discrimination claim and dismissed the failure-to-accommodate claim.

I. Background

Jewel Food Companies, a supermarket chain, employed Sean Reeves as a bagger at one of their stores from June 1997 until his dismissal in April 2005. Reeves has Down syndrome, a " genetic disorder which varies in severity, but causes lifelong intellectual disability and developmental delays." Diseases and Conditions: Down syndrome, Mayo Clinic (Apr. 19, 2014), http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/down-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20020948.

To help him perform essential job tasks, Reeves received an array of vocational tutoring early in his tenure with Jewel. A social service agency sent a job coach to work with Reeves, just as it had done for him throughout his prior jobs. Jewel's Service Manager also provided individual training for Reeves's daily tasks and helped Reeves calm down when he was frustrated.

Jewel also instituted supervision policies that applied only to Reeves. For instance, at the end of each day, Reeves's supervisor would complete an evaluation form that either approved or disapproved of Reeves's performance in five job categories. The form would then be sent to Reeves's parents, per their request. Reeves, unlike the other baggers, was also exempted from collecting shopping carts from the parking lot following an incident in which he was found directing customers how to park their cars.

From time to time, Reeves had trouble complying with Jewel's workplace rules. For instance, he cursed at a manager when the table at which he usually ate lunch was used for a wine tasting. He also once cursed within earshot of a customer about a woman ...


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