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$82,000 Settlement in Wrongful Termination; Failure to Accommodate Disability in Seattle Jail Suit

Washington State’s King County paid $81,607.59 to settle the lawsuit of Gerald Murphy, who claimed that he was wrongfully terminated from his position as Chief of Operations/Security at the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. The complaint in this case states that prior to being hired to the position on September 13, 2003 following an exemplary 21-year career in juvenile justice/detention, he informed his supervisor, Tissia Kemp, of several disabilities.

Murphy had been diagnosed with problems secondary to knee replacement, diabetes and adult attention deficit disorder. He was advised there was no list of “essential functions” for his position. Kemp refused to accommodate Murphy’s conditions by refusing to allow him to use a PDA during meetings or take breaks to eat for the purpose of maintaining blood sugar levels. On September 10, 2004, Murphy was terminated for “non-disciplinary medical reasons,” based on his inability to be able to comply with the newly stated “essential function” of being able to use the stairs in an emergency.

The designation for termination prevented Murphy from obtaining employment elsewhere for nine months. Represented by Seattle attorney Jean E. Huffington, Murphy settled the case on May 16, 2007 for $75,000 in damages and $6,607.59 in costs. The documents related to this claim are available on PLN’s website. See: Murphy v. King Co. Dept. of Adult and Juvenile Detention, King Co. Supr. Ct., No. 06-2-01924-5 SEA.

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Related legal case

Murphy v. King Co. Dept. of Adult and Juvenile Detention

Please see the brief bank for documents related to this case.