Just the Facts Ma'am

Reeves v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc. | 13-3782

August 2014

In Reeves v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 13-3782, the Seventh Circuit re-affirmed an underlying precept of fact pleading.

In Reeves, at the summary judgment stage, the district court dismissed a “failure to accommodate claim” brought under the Americans with Disability Act reasoning that the plaintiffs (parents of a bagger with Downs syndrome who was discharged from his position for behavioral issues) had waived a failure to accommodate claim by failing to specifically include the claim in their complaint. While finding summary judgment was appropriate, the Seventh Circuit corrected the district court’s procedure-based rationale. The Court noted that “plaintiffs need only plead facts, not legal theories, in their complaints.” Because plaintiffs had “pled a number of facts relevant to his failure-to-accommodate claim” in the complaint, the claim was not waived. The Court went on to find summary judgment appropriate for other substantive reasons.