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Mullins v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 8, 2017

JIMMY MULLINS, Plaintiff,
v.
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          Timothy J. Sullivan United States Magistrate Judge

         Jimmy Mullins (“Mullins”) filed this lawsuit against the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (“the City”) for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. Mullins claimed that the City wrongfully excluded him from overtime work because of his disability. He also claimed that the City failed to provide a reasonable accommodation for his disability. At the conclusion of a three-day jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the City. Now pending before the Court is Mullins' Motion for New Trial (“Motion”) (ECF No. 105). Having considered the submissions of the parties, I find that no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6. For the reasons stated below, Mullins' motion will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 24, 2017, the parties jointly filed a proposed pretrial order (ECF No. 65). As required by Local Rule 106.2, the parties each submitted a “brief statement of facts that each [party] proposed to prove in support of that [party's claims or defenses], together with a listing of the separate legal theories relied upon in support of each claim [or affirmative defense].” Loc. R. 106.2. Pertinent to the Motion, Mullins' brief statement of facts contained the following statement: “Defendant failed to allow the Plaintiff to use mechanical lifts which were available in the work area for the infrequent times that the Plaintiff needed to access the roof of a truck that was being repaired.” (ECF No. 65 at 2.) In parallel, the City's brief statement of facts contained the following statement:

Plaintiff claimed that an electrical lift would vitiate the need for him to climb and/or bend and thus would enable him to perform the essential functions of his position. An electrical lift however would not have assisted Plaintiff in getting into and out of large vehicles, nor would such a lift have enabled Plaintiff to perform the often-required task of bending, kneeling and crawling once on top of the hood or roof of a vehicle.

(Id. at 4.) In addition, the City also listed the following legal theories in the proposed pretrial order:

2. Requiring the City to purchase a mechanical lift would have imposed an undue financial burden on the City.
3. Plaintiff's requested accommodation, a lift, would not have assisted him in performing his essential job functions because once he used the lift to escalate alongside of or in front of the vehicle, he would not be able to perform the work needed on the hood or roof of the vehicle.

(Id. at 5.) Each party listed photos of mechanical lifts to be offered into evidence at trial. (ECF No. 65 at 10, 12.) On March 6, 2017, after conducting a pretrial conference, the Court entered a Pretrial Order, which provided that “the parties' proposed pretrial order (ECF No. 65) is approved as the Court's Pretrial Order. . . .” (ECF No. 88.)

         A three-day jury trial concluded on March 9, 2017. The Verdict Form provided to the jury (see ECF No. 96) contained the following questions:

Do you find that Plaintiff has proven by a preponderance of the evidence: * * *
4. That Plaintiff requested an accommodation?
5. That Plaintiff's requested accommodation was reasonable?
6. That Defendant denied Plaintiff's request for ...

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