Can't Stomach the American with Disabilities Act? How the Federal Courts Have Gutted Disability Discrimination Legislation in Cases Involving Individuals with Gastrointestinal Disorders and Other Hidden Illnesses

50 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2006 Last revised: 29 Apr 2014

Lawrence D. Rosenthal

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Abstract

Despite the initial optimism behind the ADA, many plaintiffs have now realized that the Act does not always provide the level of protection many individuals need. This Article focuses on individuals suffering from disorders such as Crohn's Disease and Colitis, two disorders that affect individuals' digestive systems. The Article first discusses these disorders and the various treatment options available to those who suffer from them. The Article then analyzes several cases where the plaintiffs were either "too sick" or "not sick enough" to receive ADA protection. Next, the Article highlights some of the other problems these individuals have had while attempting to assert ADA claims. The Article then analyzes a few cases where these plaintiffs were actually able to achieve some success. Finally, the Article suggests some solutions to this problem and recommends how these plaintiffs with these illnesses might be able to obtain some relief in the courts. These suggestions include attempting to assert claims under state disability laws and/or attempting to assert claims under other federal laws.

Keywords: ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, discrimination, disability, legislation

JEL Classification: J70, J71, K31

Suggested Citation

Rosenthal, Lawrence D., Can't Stomach the American with Disabilities Act? How the Federal Courts Have Gutted Disability Discrimination Legislation in Cases Involving Individuals with Gastrointestinal Disorders and Other Hidden Illnesses. 53 Catholic University Law Review 449 (2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906815

Lawrence D. Rosenthal (Contact Author)

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law ( email )

Nunn Hall
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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