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BOP Settles Handicapped Discrimination Lawsuit for $65,000

The Bureau of Prisons settled a claim of discrimination on the basis of handicap brought by former employee Terry L. Ryckman in January 2001.

Ryckman was employed by the Bureau as a prison guard at United States Penitentiary Florence, Colorado between July 28, 1994 and December 2, 1994. According to the complaint, Ryckman was "diagnosed with a seizure disorder with and/or as an epileptic" shortly after obtaining employment at USP Florence.

Ryckman alleged that on or about Friday, December 2, 1994, "[Human Resources Manager] Dawn Hellickson stated that although [Ryckman] was doing a great job and there was no problem in performance, [Ryckman] was being terminated due to his medical condition."

The complaint filed in federal court alleged that the medical condition did not prevent Ryckman from performing his job, and that no efforts to accommodate his disability were made. As such, Ryckman alleged that Bureau of Prisons personnel violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 20 U.S.C. §§ 791 and 794, which prohibits such discrimination.

Ryckman demanded his job back, compensatory damages and attorney's fees. He settled the claim for a lump-sum payment of $65,000.00 in full satisfaction of the claim. As part of the settlement, the Bureau of Prisons denied any liability or wrongdoing.

Ryckman was represented by Canon City, Colorado attorney Anna Hall Owen.

The documents from this case were obtained by Prison Legal News after winning a twelve-year-long battle with the Bureau of Prisons over a Freedom of Information Act records request.

See: Ryckman v. United States, United States District Court, District of Colorado, Civil Case No. 98-D-878.

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Related legal case

Ryckman v. United States