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September 17, 2014

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County to pay $150,000 to claustrophobic ex-employee who worked in cubicle

Clark County commissioners approved Tuesday the payment of $150,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former University Medical Center data technician diagnosed with claustrophobia, a condition that arose when she was forced to work in a cubicle.

Jayne Feshold was a data technician hired by the county-run hospital in 1999. Her suit says she "worked without incident" until May 2007. Then the hospital's medical records department was moved to a new building and she was assigned to work in an area "consisting of a small cubicle workspace instead of a more open environment."

Soon after, she began to exhibit "symptoms of severe anxiety, making it impossible for her to work efficiently." Her symptoms were later diagnosed as the result of claustrophobia, a fear of enclosed spaces. Her supervisor was sympathetic and let her work in an open area.

A new supervisor a few months later, the lawsuit says, forced her to work in a cubicle. Her anxiety grew to such a degree that she sought help at UMC's emergency room in July 2007. When she found she would not be allowed to work in an open environment, she found a new job as a guard in UMC's Labor and Delivery Unit.

Then in February 2008, she filed a request to be accommodated under guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act — she wanted to work in more open space. The suit says two doctors made similar diagnoses of claustrophobia.

But in March 2008, the suit says, the hospital wrote a letter to Feshold saying she did not have "a disability within the meaning of the ADA." Since she could not return to her job, Feshold was fired in April 2008.

The settlement will pay Feshold $89,012.91 and $60,987.09 to her attorney.

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  1. What a joke.

    What size is her bedroom?

    How does she drive?

    How does she use a restroom?

    How does she shower?

  2. "The settlement will pay Feshold $89,012.91 and $60,987.09 to her attorney."

    Thanx, Schoenmann, for giving us the rest of the story without making us guess.

    Noindex -- although we don't always agree, good points!

    Harley -- good one!

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." -- Dick the Butcher in Shakespeare's "Henry The Sixth," Part 2 Act 4, scene 2

  3. KillerB -- you obviously have no understanding of what Shakespeare meant when he said that. You might want to study it a little further before you quote him. As for as your envy towards the attorney, you might also want to examine its genesis.

  4. "KillerB -- you obviously have no understanding of what Shakespeare meant when he said that. ... As for as your envy towards the attorney..."

    Tellafriend -- lighten up, Brad. Shakespeare's "Henry The Sixth" was and is fiction. So "obviously" my understanding is better than yours.

    And it's not like judges have never quoted it. Just one sampling is found @ In re Marriage of Carla and Gale Wagoner, 176 Cal. App. 3d 936, 943 (1986): "We find [husband's lawyer's] conduct throughout to reflect very poorly on him in particular and the legal profession in general. He has violated a trust, overreached an adversary, and done a disservice to an overburdened judicial system. This sort of activity may inspire great literature on occasion: E.g., "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." (Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI, act IV, s. ii.) But it does nothing for public confidence in the law or its practitioners."

    "Envy" is the opposite of an accurate description. Distrust (a far milder term when one reads between the lines) of lawyers is actually an American tradition since the original colonial days. That's explained in Faretta v. California, 95 S. Ct. 2525, 422 U.S. 806 (1975). Read section C, starts @ 422 U.S. 826.

    One more time -- see Shakespeare, Henry the Sixth, Pt. 2, Act 4, scene 2, when Dick the Butcher stated to Jack Cade, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers", and Jack responded: "Nay, that I mean to do."

    That's my post and I'm sticking to it.

  5. For every protection granted to any specific segment of our society, there will be those that exploit those protections...
    Is this one of those cases?
    Not for me to judge.
    Certainly, Claustrophobia is nothing to sneeze at.
    It can be a terribly debilitating condition.
    The $150,000 is "go away" money. Cheaper than litigating.
    (a practice I ABHOR.)
    Not exactly a huge payday for giving up your job, especially in these times, and for what it could potentially do to your "future employment opportunities."

  6. "Then in February 2008, she filed a request to be accommodated under guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act"

    And that is the root of the problem here.

  7. Looks like you need to lighten up Killer. What does trust have to do with the newspaper story? Nothing. Nonetheless, if you understood what Shakespeare meant, as you stated, then you misrepresented it, which creates a trust issue on your part, not the attorney in the newspaper article.

  8. << A new supervisor a few months later, the lawsuit says, forced her to work in a cubicle. Her anxiety grew to such a degree that she sought help at UMC's emergency room in July 2007. When she found she would not be allowed to work in an open environment, she found a new job as a guard in UMC's Labor and Delivery Unit.

    Then in February 2008, she filed a request to be accommodated under guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- she wanted to work in more open space. The suit says two doctors made similar diagnoses of claustrophobia >>

    Let me get this straight: She went and acquired a new position at UMC as a guard on the Maternity ward. What did they do - put her in a closet? I've seen MW guards - they do not sit in small areas that are enclosed (duhhhh - how would they know what is going on if they were not able to observe???) WHY did she take the guard position when she allegedly knew that she again would be in a confined space? Did she ever think of applying for a position that was in a more open space, like the coffee shop? Or gift shop?

    Sheesh! People - if you need a lawyer - GET THIS BROAD'S COUNSEL because who ever it is is good!!

  9. vegasbike, Harley

    Good ones!

  10. "...let's kill all the lawyers",

    When I worked at the big law firm in Chicago, one secretary showed up one day with a coffee mug which quoted that line. Within a month, about 25 secretaries had mugs on their desk with that saying! Some of us smart asses, if we didn't want to be bothered that day or our boss was being an ass, would put that cup in a place where the attorney would see it! (Usually the "in box" on top of his/her mail). The attorney usually stayed away when that innocent cup was in view! (Hey, it was better than telling them to "get the F away" or "leave me alone - I don't want to see your ugly ass out of your office until later").

  11. cnev, actually I think KillerB, Det_Munch and myself would make great critical thinking jurors.

    That seems to be the one important item missing from juries these days.

  12. cnev

    Being that I spent 29 years working in the legal profession, I saw a LOT of things. People always will try to get away with murder and some succeed. Many people try to work the system - some fail, some win. Even though I was non-legal personnel, I also learned a lot of things from both the attorneys I worked for and also - back then there was no Lexus research; we, the legal assistants helped with the research the old fashioned way - going to the law library and finding the appropriate cases in the proper jurisdictional books. We then had to type excerpts of these cases into the documents the lawyer was preparing. It wasn't "cut and paste" in those days nor was it just attach something the attorney printed off the computer. It was the good old fashioned practice of law. Everyone learned.

    Our society today has become MORE litiguous regardless; they get a good sheister lawyer who can find some tiny loophole in anything. In this case, it was easier for UMC to pay up even though they probably did everything right - remember their business is the health care field. As someone said - she worked for a health care facility. I do not believe the powers that be would ignore her condition and place her in an area that would aggravate that condition.

    BTW - I am quite familiar with our jury system since not only did I almost serve (once - couldn't get out of it since I used up my 3 excuses but as excused anyway) but was always on the other side of it - assisting in preparing those jury instructions so they made sense to the average juror. It is not easy to do that when you have to interpret the law in layman's terms. The jury in the Anthony case came to the right verdict even though Casey or a family member KNOW what happened to that little girl. In the case at hand, this person did NOT deserve the settlement she got but I still say UMC settled it to get her out of their "hair". And yes, there may very well be another side to this story and they settled because the employee was a pain in the ass.