Smith v. Perkins Bd. of Educ., No. 12-3187 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a teacher since 1976, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By 1999, she required insulin injections. Until 2008, plaintiff was never disciplined. In 2008, plaintiff was summoned to address allegations that she had been sleeping during class. Plaintiff claimed that she was not sleeping but rather exhibiting symptoms of diabetes. She was formally reprimanded and requested accommodations: training in recognizing symptoms of diabetes; assistance if she appeared asleep; and breaks for insulin injections. The superintendent allowed her to keep snacks in her classroom, to use the nurse’s office if she first obtained classroom coverage, and to disseminate diabetes information to students and staff. Plaintiff was subsequently suspended for missing classes, sleeping in class, and referring to Playgirl Magazine in class discussion. The Board decided to terminate her contract. Plaintiff was 71 years old. A referee upheld the termination. Instead of appealing, plaintiff filed suit, alleging age discrimination under Ohio law; failure to make reasonable accommodations (ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12112, and state law); retaliation for engaging in protected activity (ADA and state law); and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants. The Sixth Circuit affirmed with respect to age discrimination, but reversed on other claims.