Deaf Lifeguard Wins Appeal In Lawsuit Over Job

PONTIAC (AP) – A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit by a deaf lifeguard who says his rights were violated when Oakland County declined to hire him.

The court said Thursday that a judge used the wrong legal standard when he ruled in favor of the county and dismissed the lawsuit in 2011.

Nicholas Keith has been deaf since birth in 1980 and is unable to speak. But he can detect noises, whistles and people calling for him through a cochlear implant. Keith was offered a job by Oakland County, but the offer was dropped after officials talked to liability consultants.

Keith sued, saying the county violated disabilities law. The appeals court says the consultants didn’t investigate Keith’s qualifications to do the job. The lawsuit now returns to Port Huron federal court.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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