The award is believed to be the largest in Indiana under the Americans with Disabilities Act for a person with diabetes.
An Indiana woman with type 1 diabetes (T1D) has settled for $725,000 with the township that fired her from her job as a fire department paramedic. Published reports are describing the award as the largest in her state under the Americans with Disabilities Act for someone with diabetes.
Kristine Rednour, diagnosed with T1D at age 12, was fired by Wayne Township in 2011 after 2 medical events caused her blood sugar levels to drop while on the job; she drank orange juice and Pepsi to restore them. She had been working for the fire department since 2009, and the township knew she had T1D when she was hired.
She was put on paid leave after the second incident and told she could not return to work until a medical examiner figured out how to accommodate her illness. That never happened. Instead, 2 weeks later, she was fired after it was determined she never should have been hired in the first place.
When Rednour sued, the defense argued she failed to prove a violation of the ADA because she had never requested any accommodation. Rednour said she didn’t need one. Today, many type 1 diabetics wear a continuous glucose monitor that would easily alert those around them if their blood sugar levels drop, a point noted by her attorneys.
In July, a jury awarded Rednour $123,500 for lost wages and benefits and $100,000 for emotional distress. She was given the option to return or be paid a sum as compensation for lost future earnings, and the settlement is based on the latter option. Today, she works as an emergency room paramedic at a local hospital.
"Hoosier jurors believe that individuals with disabilities, and individuals particularly with diabetes, should be permitted an even playing field to perform their job," said Kevin Betz, one of her attorneys. "Not an advantage by any means—just a level playing field."