Victory in Disability Discrimination Case Secures Over $1 Million for Client

For immediate release
October 19, 2017
CHICAGO – On Tuesday, October 10, a district court judge awarded former United States Postal Service employee Anthony Sansone $828,744 in lost wages for discrimination he faced from USPS beginning in 2011. An earlier federal jury verdict had awarded Mr. Sansone $300,000 in damages for emotional distress, the maximum award allowed under the law.

“People who are disabled have a right to reasonable accommodation of their disability and equal treatment with people who are not disabled,” said lead counsel Paul Strauss. “The government did not afford him the respect and dignity that a person with disability should receive.”

Strauss took the case in 2011 at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. At the time, Mr. Sansone had been working as a maintenance supervisor for the USPS bulk mail facility in Forest Park, Illinois for more than a decade. He lives with multiple sclerosis and requires an accessible space in order to park and deploy the wheelchair ramp for his van.

Although USPS had given him a parking spot since 1999, in 2011 it was taken away suddenly and without good reason. Unable to access his job, Mr. Sansone slipped into severe depression.

“When he lost the use of his legs and went through two divorces and a heart attack, Mr. Sansone kept going to work,” says Strauss. “It was the principal organizing feature of his life. To have that taken away from him was devastating.”

The jury found the Postal Service failed to accommodate Mr. Sansone’s disability as required by law. He was awarded damages for the severe and ongoing depression he suffered as a result of the loss of his job. Senior US District Court Judge Milton Shadur awarded him further damages to compensate him for his loss of employment income.

In addition to Paul Strauss and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, Mr. Sansone has also been represented pro bono by Eimer Stahl LLP lawyers Ben Waldin and Jacob Hamann. The case is Sansone v. Donahoe, No. 1:13-cv-3415 (N.D. Ill.).

Timna Axel