[IP] Appeals court revives diabetes suit
September 10, 2003
Appeals court revives diabetes suit
The Associated Press
PORTLAND - A diabetic woman's lawsuit against U.S. Bancorp will go to court,
the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
A federal judge in Portland had dismissed the suit, which Rebecca Ann Fraser
filed in 2000. She claims that the bank illegally refused to let her eat at her
desk to control her blood sugar levels.
``I think it's a significant victory for advocates of people with diabetes,''
said Craig Crispin, Fraser's attorney, after the ruling Monday.
Jeffrey Druckman, an attorney representing U.S. Bancorp, said his client was
considering an appeal.
Fraser has Type I insulin-dependent diabetes, her doctor said. Her diabetes is
``brittle,'' meaning that her blood sugar levels are difficult to control
because they tend quickly to swing high or low.
Her physician said that Fraser needed four or more blood tests a day and
multiple insulin injections, depending on how much she had eaten.
Fraser began working as a senior account specialist for U.S. Bancorp in June
1998. In November, Fraser said her supervisor told her that she could not eat at
When her blood sugar became low, Fraser said she asked whether she could eat
some food stored in her desk, but her supervisor refused.
She eventually passed out in the lobby of the bank, Fraser said. Her husband
took her home.
Fraser said she complained to her supervisor's boss. In March 1999, she was
Fraser sued, saying the bank failed to accommodate her disability under the
Americans with Disabilities Act and retaliated against her for seeking an
U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones dismissed the case, saying Fraser failed to
show that she was disabled under the act. Specifically, she failed to show that
her diabetes interfered with a major life activity, he said.
A divided three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit disagreed and said the case can
go to trial.
U.S. Bancorp's appeal options include asking a larger panel of the 9th Circuit
or the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
Very sincerely yours,
Ellen H. Ullman
Mom, Advocate for children who have diabetes and their parents, Friend,
Webmaster.. Kids R Pumping
Please support funding a cure for diabetes: Diabetes Research Institute in
Miami, Florida: http://www.drinet.org
"I realized that resignation to suffering from diabetes substitutes poorly for
the courage to manage it appropriately." Melissa P. Ford, doctoral student in
early modern British history at Oxford University; founding coordinator of the
Oxford University Student Union Diabetes Network; member of Balliol College
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