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DC Court of Appeals victory in perceived discrimination case

Abdul-Azim v. Howard University Hospital, DC Court of Appeals No. 17-CV-453

We represented Mr. Abdul-Azim, a Cardiology Technician who worked for Howard University Hospital.  He had an excellent performance record and was universally considered a competent technician.  After an incident with a coworker, Howard suspended our client for alleged misconduct.  Although our client did not suffer from a disabling medical condition, Howard required him to undergo medical testing and treatment before returning to work.  He completed the required testing and treatment, but Howard ultimately fired him for failing to comply with directives to return to work.

We filed a lawsuit in DC Superior Court, alleging that Howard discriminated against our client based on a perceived disability.  Howard filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the court should rule in its favor without a trial.  The court granted Howard’s motion and dismissed the case.

We filed an appeal with the DC Court of Appeals.  The majority of the panel agreed with the arguments we presented in our written brief and at oral argument.  Accordingly, on August 1, 2019, the panel vacated the Superior Court’s decision and remanded the case.  However, Howard then filed a petition for rehearing, arguing that the panel’s decision was wrong, and asking for a decision from the entire Court of Appeals.  We submitted an opposition, explaining that there was no basis for rehearing.  The Court agreed with us and denied Howard’s request on February 19, 2020.  The case will return to the Superior Court and should be scheduled for trial.

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