To Tell the Truth: Should Judicial Estoppel Preclude Americans with Disabilities Act Complaints?
St. John's Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 2, pp. 349-374, Spring 1999
27 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 26, 1999
This article analyzes the use of the doctrine of judicial estoppel as a bar to an Americans with Disabilities Act claim where the plaintiff has previously asserted a total disability in order to obtain social security benefits. The author argues against an automatic estoppel rule as there are compelling reasons and particularized findings in such cases. Judicial estoppel allows courts to unilaterally terminate claims before they are fully articulated and before they are tested at trial, which the author points out is inappropriate to such cases where intense fact finding is necessary. Noting the legislative history as objectives of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the author suggests amending current legislation as EEOC guidance is not binding on courts.
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