7th Circuit Dismisses ADA Psoriasis Claim

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In Turner v. The Saloon et al., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s determination that Psoriasis did not meet the “substantially limiting” element of an ADA protected disability in that case. The Plaintiff argued that his psoriasis substantially limited his ability to walk. He admitted under oath, however, that at worst, his psoriasis periodically causes “severe pain causing him to walk with his legs more astride, appearing as a limp.” When it comes to walking, the Seventh Circuit had previously determined that walking with difficulty is not a significant restriction on walking. Squibb v. Mem’l Med. Ctr., 497 F.3d 775, 785 (7th Cir. 2007). It has also held that  an employee is not disabled when he admitted that he could walk “distances of less than a mile ‘consistently,’ [and] that a mile walk ‘wouldn’t be any problem as long as I’m paying attention to what I’m doing.’ ” Moore v. J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc., 221 F.3d 944, 951 (7th Cir. 2000). Although psoriasis is a bona fide and often serious medical condition, arguments that it limits one’s ability to walk and therefore qualifies as an ADA protected disability, absent a particularly severe or unusual case, will be hard-pressed to succeed.  This doesn’t, however, mean that psoriasis will never qualify as a disability, provided it substantially limits walking or other life activities.

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