United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [Resolving
ECF No. 37]
Y. Pearson United States District Judge.
Sagamore Hills Township, Paul Schweikert, David Depasquale,
John Zaccardelli, Bill Cuprak, and David Hayes have filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 37. Plaintiff
David Demassimo has responded. ECF No. 44.
Defendants have replied. ECF No. 45. For the reasons
that follow, the Court hereby grants Defendants' Motion
for Summary Judgment.
parties stipulated to the following facts:
Plaintiff began employment with Sagamore Hills Township in
Throughout his employment, Plaintiff held the position of
"Laborer" in the Road Department.
Sagamore Hills Township Board of Township Trustees is the
hiring authority for Laborers in the Road Department, and has
sole authority to hire, fire, or impose discipline on Road
of the duties of Laborer in the Road Department includes
driving and/or operating all Township vehicles.
During his employment, Plaintiff was one of four full time
employees that worked for the Road Department.
During Plaintiff's employment, the Township employed one
part time employee that worked in the Road Department.
Following Plaintiff's employment, the Township hired one
additional part time employee to work in the Road Department.
Road Department employee is required to operate Township
Plaintiff provided a letter to Sagamore Hills Township from
his physician in June 2014 which stated: "David
DeMassimo is currently undergoing medical evaluation for
newly developed concerning symptoms. I recommend working
maximum ten (10) hours per day during winter time." 10.
The June 2014 letter from Plaintiff's physician was
provided to Sagamore Hills Township attorney Jeff Snell.
Upon receipt of the June 2014 letter, Jeff Snell contacted
Plaintiff's physician seeking additional information
regarding the "concerning symptoms" and provided
the letter to the Township's property and casualty
July 11, 2014, Plaintiff's physician authored a second
letter that stated that Plaintiff experienced "symptoms
of shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness that was
proved exclusively while working during intense and long
hours in the winter months plowing snow." The letter
further stated that the "symptoms of chest discomfort
and difficulties breathing were accompanied by a sense of
panic, anxiety, lack of concentration with poor ability to
make appropriate professional decisions during that
time." It went on to state that: "Mr. DeMassimo
describes that he feels incapacitated during these episodes
and is extremely fearful of making an error that could harm
him or others while operating his specialized vehicles in
this compromised condition." 13. On November 24, 2014,
Plaintiff was excluded from coverage under the Township's
named driver exclusion precluded Plaintiff from operating any
of the Township's vehicles.
to the named driver exclusion, Plaintiff was unable to do the
duties of his job that required driving or operating a motor
the time, Plaintiff had sick time available, and was put on
leave from employment beginning in November 2014.
Plaintiff's attorneys, including Peter Mapley, worked
with the Township attorney, Jeff Snell, to determine what
options were available to remove the named driver exclusion
and return Plaintiff to work.
December 3, 2014, Plaintiff's physician provided an
additional letter to the Township stating that "Mr.
DeMassimo has no driving restrictions, he has full ability to
operate motor vehicle[s]." 19. On March 18, 201,
Plaintiff's physician, in a letter to Peter Mapley,
stated: "I recently received your letter with attached
job descriptions for Mr. DeMassimo. In your letter you
requested my verification regarding Mr. DeMassimo's
mental and physical capability to perform his tasks. I
reviewed all the listed seasonal items. In my opinion Mr.
DeMassimo is capable to resume his professional duties as
listed…" 20. On March 19, 2015, Mr. Kerr emailed
the March 18, 2015 letter to Allen Jones, an underwriter for
Plaintiff was to provide monthly written statements
indicating that his medical conditions had not changed, that
he had not experienced any issues with ...