Published May, 2014

Mark Wilson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., 2013 WL 6080106 (S.D. West Virginia) (2013)

This U.S. District Court of the Southern District of West Virginia memorandum opinion and order denies defendant Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. (Sedgwick)’s motion for summary judgment in response to allegations that it had terminated an employee based on the employee’s disability. A motion for summary judgment effectively asks the court to decide in one party’s favor before the conclusion of the trial.

Mark Wilson, the plaintiff, began working as a Claims Examiner for Sedgwick in 2007. After he began to experience health problems in 2010, Wilson took time off to seek medical treatment, later informing Sedgwick in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with HIV. Sedgwick denied Wilson’s claims for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and short-term disability (STD), eventually terminating him in July 2011. Wilson brought suit against Sedgwick, alleging that his termination was due to his disability and Sedgwick’s failure to accommodate such disability. Sedgwick filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing, among other things, that Wilson’s termination was due to his prolonged absence from work and his failure to provide the necessary information to process his request for medical leave. The court found that because there were genuine issues of material fact, including but not limited to whether Wilson’s inability to work was temporary, whether Wilson was treated differently from another employee who requested medical leave, and whether Wilson’s request for leave was a reasonable accommodation, summary judgment could not be granted.