Pennsylvania Record

Friday, April 10, 2020

Man who says Pittsburgh Police wouldn't hire him because of ADHD loses lawsuit

Federal Court

Feb 25, 2020

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PITTSBURGH — A federal judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Pittsburgh by a man who originally claimed he was denied a police position because he had ADHD. 

The order closing the case was signed Feb. 10 by Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti and filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. 

Christopher GIbbs had originally filed a civil action lawsuit against the city that alleged it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act when he was deprived of a job on the police force.  

In May of 2019, the court dismissed his original complaint due to the fact Gibbs' failed to bring sufficient evidence forward that showed he was qualified for the job or disabled. The court allowed him to amend his complaint on one narrow theory.  

The court said under state law, the city could not hire Gibbs if he failed the psychological exam, because passing it is a prerequisite despite his abilities to perform the essential daily tasks of the job. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit suggested in a previous case that a plaintiff might be able to make a legitimate claim if they can prove bias in the required psychological examination. 

Gibbs filed an amended complaint, in which he asserted that prior to the examination, the city told the psychologist he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, even though he admitted to disclosing the diagnosis to them as well. 

Gibbs had to prove the city discriminated against him by either picking psychologists that they knew would be biased about his ADHD or putting pressing on the psychologists conducting the exam to have an unfavorable opinion about Gibbs' ADHD diagnosis. 

The court found in the amended complaint there were still no factual allegations that proved either of the above requirements; therefore, concluded he could not make a legitimate claim because he wasn't qualified. 

 

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Pittsburgh Police Department