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FRUDAKIS v. SUFFOLK COUNTY DEP'T OF PUBLIC WORKS

May 9, 2001

DEMETRIOS FRUDAKIS, PLAINTIFF,
V.
SUFFOLK COUNTY DEP'T OF PUBLIC WORKS AND THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Platt, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On December 8th, 2000 defendants moved to dismiss plaintiffs Complaint and plaintiff cross-moved to amend the same. This Court granted defendants' motion as to plaintiffs claim under the ADA, but denied defendants' motion with respect to all other claims. This Court granted plaintiffs motion to amend his Complaint.

Defendants County of Suffolk and the Department of Public Works moved again on March 9, 2001 to dismiss plaintiff's Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Defendants' motion to dismiss must be and the same hereby is granted as to plaintiffs claim under the ADA. Defendants' motion to dismiss is denied as to plaintiffs claim under the NYHRL.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Demetrios Frudakis is a resident of New York, County of Suffolk and was employed by Suffolk County Department of Public Works, Design and Construction ("Suffolk County DPW") which was then and is still a department of the County of Suffolk. Defendant County of Suffolk is a municipal corporation.

Frudakis claims that he is disabled and suffers from panic attacks, has a fear of being in enclosed spaces and has a permanent injury to his left shoulder. He began employment with defendants on or about September 26, 1996 as an Architectural Drafter.

On November 2, 1998, Frudakis was appointed to the position of Architectural Drafter 1, in the non-competitive classification, pursuant to N.Y. Civil Service Law Sec. 55-a. In this position, Frudakis' main duties were to draw up plans and go out to job sites. In Frudakis' Complaint he states that he performed these job functions properly and received praise for his performance.

In late November 1998, Frudakis broke his clavicle in a car accident. Upon his return to work, he was assigned to work in the print room, an enclosed area without windows or ventilation, which caused him to suffer panic attacks.

On February 3, 1999, Frudakis provided defendants with a letter from his psychiatrist informing them that working in the print room would exacerbate his panic attacks. In the letter, the psychiatrist asked defendants to avoid placing Frudakis in the print room during his treatment. Despite this letter, defendants continued to ask Frudakis to make prints in the print room.

On February 17, 1999, Frudakis provided defendants with a letter from his orthopedic surgeon advising that he had difficulty moving his left arm and shoulder and seeking a reasonable accommodation. Despite this letter, defendants continued to require Frudakis to carry "spec" books weighing approximately 15 pounds.

On April 19, 1999, defendants provided Frudakis with a letter stating that, based upon an evaluation by the County of Suffolk Medical Review Office, he would not be required to use the print room. Despite that letter, on May 4, 1999, Frudakis' supervisor asked him to make prints for him. When Frudakis complained to Commissioner Charles Bartha about defendant's failure to accommodate him, Bartha responded that he was very disappointed in Frudakis.

On June 1, 1999, Frudakis filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights and EEOC alleging that defendants failed to accommodate his disability.

Despite this complaint, defendants continued to ask Frudakis to make prints in the print room and carry heavy books, rather than to draw up plans and go to job sites. On September 19, 1999, after Frudakis' supervisor again asked him to ...


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