Plaintiff appealed the district court’s grant of defendant’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiff sued defendant, his employer, under the ADA after defendant denied plaintiff’s request to bring his service dog on board the freight trains he worked on as a reasonable accommodation for his military service-connected disabilities. Although the district court initially denied defendant’s motion for JMOL, when the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff awarding compensatory damages, the district court granted defendant’s renewed motion, finding an insufficient evidentiary basis for the jury’s verdict.
Where plaintiff’s failure-to-accommodate claim required proof of an employer-provided or sponsored benefit or privilege provided to non-disabled workers, the district court correctly granted JMOL for defendant as mitigating physical or mental pain was not an employer’s responsibility.
Judgment is affirmed.
Hopman v. Union Pacific Railroad (MLW No. 79931/Case No. 22-1881 – 13 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Loken, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Baker, J. (John W. Griffin, Jr., of Victoria, TX for appellant; Katherine L. Butler, of Houston, TX; Michael Neuerburg, of Cedar Rapids, IA on the brief) (Stephanie Schuster, of Washington, D.C. for appellee; Amanda Leigh Salz, of Washington, D.C.; Bryan Michael Killian, of Washington, D.C.; Linda Cooper Schoonmaker, of Houston, TX on the brief)