Hamilton v. Westchester County, No. 20-1058 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Second Circuit joined the First, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits in holding that under the expanded definition of "disability" under the ADA Amendments Act, which now covers impairments "lasting or expected to last less than six months," 28 C.F.R. 35.108(d)(ix), a short-term injury can qualify as an actionable disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
After plaintiff sustained injuries as an inmate at the Westchester County Jail by stepping on crumbled concrete in the recreational yard, he filed suit pro se against the County defendants and the medical defendants, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The district court granted defendants' motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The court concluded that the district court erred in categorically excluding short-term injuries from qualifying as a "disability" under the ADA. The court explained that plaintiff's claim could not be dismissed as a matter of law simply because the injury causing these limitations was temporary. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's dismissal to the extent it dismissed plaintiff's ADA claim against the County, remanded for further proceedings as to that claim, and affirmed the dismissal of the remaining claims.