Psoriatic arthritis that substantially limits walking a disability covered by Americans With Disabilities Act.

Psoriatic arthritis that substantially limited a flight attendant's ability to walk is a disability covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) ruled the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Carmona v. Southwest Airlines, No. 08-51175 (April 22, 2010)

 

To be covered by the ADA a condition must substantially limit a major life activity such as walking. The court ruled that this was established as follows:

 

Carmona testified that his psoriatic arthritis made him unable to walk when it flared up.  He stated that, "when that happens I just stay immobile ... wherever I am.  Of if I do move, I crawl around ... it's quite painful."  He testified that these flare-ups could occur as often as twice in the same week.  This testimony was corroborated by documents entered into evidence by both Carmona and Southwest that contained medical evaluations of Carmona's condition that were made and signed by Carmona's physician, Dr. Tom Roark (Roark).  In these documents, Roark stated that Carmona needed to be granted intermittent FMLA leave, because he would be "incapacitated" three or four times every month for three to four days at a time.


The court rejected Southwest Airlines' argument that Carmona's difficulty could be dismissed as merely intermittent:

 

Carmona spends anywhere from about one-third to about one-half of each month unable to walk without excruciating pain.  It would be difficult to argue that this does not substantially limit his ability to walk.