61 F.3d 627 (8th Cir. 1995), 95-1001, Miller v. National Cas. Co.

Docket Nº:95-1001.
Citation:61 F.3d 627
Party Name:Linda MILLER, Appellant, v. NATIONAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Amicus Curiae.
Case Date:July 31, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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61 F.3d 627 (8th Cir. 1995)

Linda MILLER, Appellant,

v.

NATIONAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Amicus Curiae.

No. 95-1001.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 31, 1995

Submitted June 12, 1995.

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D. Eric Sowers, St. Louis, MO, argued (Dayna F. Deck, on the brief), for appellant.

Charles Edwin Reis, St. Louis, MO, argued (Mary Byrne MacDonald, on the brief), for appellee.

Before BOWMAN, Circuit Judge, HENLEY, Senior Circuit Judge, and MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, Circuit Judge.

BOWMAN, Circuit Judge.

Linda Miller appeals the order of the District Court 1 granting summary judgment in favor of National Casualty Company in this action for damages and for injunctive, declaratory, and equitable relief brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101-12213 (Supp. V 1993) (ADA), and the Missouri Human Rights Act, Mo.Rev.Stat. Sec. 213.010-213.137 (1994) (MHRA). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

We review a district court's grant of summary judgment de novo, Maitland v. University of Minn., 43 F.3d 357, 360 (8th Cir.1994), using the same standard applied by the District Court, Abbott v. City of Crocker, Mo., 30 F.3d 994, 997 (8th Cir.1994). Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); quoted in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). We view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and give that party the benefit of all reasonable inferences without assessing credibility. Abbott, 30 F.3d at 997.

The record, so viewed, shows the following. Except for a brief hiatus of about three months in 1985, Miller worked as a benefits analyst for National Casualty (and its predecessor in interest, Hickey-Mitchell) from March 14, 1983 until the termination of her employment on November 3, 1992. On separate sets of employment applications/employee questionnaires filed with National Casualty, one completed in March 1983 and a second in June 1985, Miller indicated that she did not suffer from any physical or medical condition which would limit her capacity to perform the job for which she applied. She listed impaired vision as her only disability. Miller now concedes that those representations were false because they did not disclose the fact that she had received treatment for manic depression beginning in 1982. These treatments continued until 1986. Nothing in the record suggests that during the term of her employment with National Casualty, Miller told anyone at the company that she suffered from a mental impairment, or that

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she needed special accommodation in order to perform her job.

On October 12, 1992, Miller met with Ted Michael, National Casualty's Vice President of Insurance Operations, and asked for a few days off to deal with stress generated by family problems. Miller told Michael that she "could not take the stress of [her] job and [the family problems] both at the same time." July 14, 1994 Deposition of Linda Miller, Joint Appendix Vol. I at 153-54. Michael gave Miller two days off--Monday and Tuesday, October 12 and 13--and advised her to get in touch with him on Wednesday to let him know how things were going. Although Miller believes she called her supervisor, Nancy Poblenz, on Wednesday, October 14, she cannot remember what she and Poblenz discussed. Miller did not report to work on October 15, but she did go into National Casualty's offices on Friday, October 16, to ask her immediate supervisors, Devon Holly and Maria Kontras, for more time off. Holly and Kontras told Miller that unless she obtained documentation of her illness from a doctor, she was expected to be back at work on Monday, October 19.

Later on October 16, Miller obtained a medical excuse from Kathy Siebert, a nurse practitioner with Miller's health care provider, releasing her from work for the period from October 12, 1992 through October 23, 1992, and diagnosing Miller's illness as "situational stress reaction." Defendant's Exhibit I, J.A. Vol. II at 229. The medical excuse, which Miller mailed to...

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