November 27, 2008

Judge allows perfume sensitivity suit

A federal judge has allowed a Detroit city employee's lawsuit alleging her co-worker's perfume impaired her breathing.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff wrote in his ruling, which was released Tuesday, that city of Detroit planner Susan McBride has produced evidence that her breathing is significantly restricted by the perfume, making her job difficult to perform, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

Lawyers for the city had attempted to convince the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(Zatkoff) recognizes that this is the type of claim that's viable, said Ann Curry Thompson, McBride's attorney. These are types of claims that in many jurisdictions ... are sort of pooh-poohed and are not taken seriously.

Grant Ha, a lawyer representing the city, said in a June court filing seeking the dismissal of the suit that there is no medical diagnosis of the alleged condition and the plaintiff is not disabled because she is not substantially impaired in a major life activity.