United States District Court, D. Kansas
LARRY D. LINCOLN and BRAD C. MOSBRUCKER, Plaintiffs,
BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree United States District Judge
matter comes before the court on defendant BNSF Railway
Company's Motions for Summary Judgment against plaintiffs
Larry Lincoln and Brad Mosbrucker (Docs. 58, 60). BNSF moves
separately for summary judgment against each plaintiff. The
court rules both motions in this consolidated order because
plaintiffs assert the same three claims arising from related
events: (1) disability discrimination and failure to
accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), (2) retaliation under the ADA, and (3)
retaliation for activity protected by the Federal Railway
Safety Act (“FRSA”). For reasons explained below,
the court grants BNSF's Motions and enters summary
judgment against both plaintiffs.
judgment is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates that
“no genuine dispute [about] any material fact”
exists and that it “is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). When applying this
standard, the court views the evidence and draws inferences
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Nahno-Lopez v. Houser, 625 F.3d 1279, 1283 (10th
Cir. 2010). A disputed “issue of fact is
‘genuine' ‘if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party' on the issue.” Id. (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986)). And an “issue of fact is ‘material'
‘if under the substantive law it is essential to the
proper disposition of the claim' or defense.”
Id. (quoting Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998)).
moving party bears “‘both the initial burden of
production on a motion for summary judgment and the burden of
establishing that summary judgment is appropriate as a matter
of law.'” Kannady v. City of Kiowa, 590
F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2010) (quoting Trainor v.
Apollo Metal Specialties, Inc., 318 F.3d 976, 979 (10th
Cir. 2002)). To carry this burden, the moving party
“‘need not negate the non-movant's claim, but
need only point to an absence of evidence to support the
non-movant's claim.'” Id. (quoting
Sigmon v. CommunityCare HMO, Inc., 234 F.3d 1121,
1125 (10th Cir. 2000)).
moving party meets its initial burden, the non-moving party
“‘may not rest upon its pleadings, but must set
forth specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial [on]
those dispositive matters for which it carries the burden of
proof.'” Id. (quoting Jenkins v.
Wood, 81 F.3d 988, 990 (10th Cir. 1996)); see also
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986);
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49. “To accomplish
this, the facts must be identified by reference to
affidavits, deposition transcripts, or specific exhibits
incorporated therein.” Adler, 144 F.3d at 671
(citing Thomas v. Wichita Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,
968 F.2d 1022, 1024 (10th Cir. 1992)). “Unsubstantiated
allegations carry no probative weight in summary judgment
proceedings.” Bones v. Honeywell Int'l,
Inc., 366 F.3d 869, 875 (10th Cir. 2004) (citing
Phillips v. Calhoun, 956 F.2d 949, 951 n.3 (10th
Cir. 1992)). To survive summary judgment, the non-moving
party's “evidence, including testimony, must be
based on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or
surmise.” Id. (citing Rice v. United
States, 166 F.3d 1088, 1092 (10th Cir. 1999)).
judgment is not a “disfavored procedural
shortcut.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 327. To the
contrary, it is an important procedure “designed
‘to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive
determination of every action.'” Id.
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 1).
following facts either are uncontroverted or, where
controverted, they are stated in the light most favorable to
plaintiffs as the non-moving parties.
The Chemical Spill
plaintiffs were working as Maintenance of Way
(“MOW”) workers for BNSF when, on Tuesday,
October 9, 2007, a tank car began to leak, exposing
plaintiffs to a hazardous chemical. Plaintiffs were rushed to
the emergency room where both were treated and released later
the same day. Plaintiffs returned to work without any work
restrictions six days later.
The Demand Letter
a half years after the chemical spill, BNSF offered
plaintiffs a settlement for their injuries from the 2007
chemical spill, but the parties were unable to reach an
agreement. Plaintiffs' lawyer, Jared Woodfill, then sent
demand letters to BNSF's claim representative, Alan
Bladsel. The letters described each plaintiff's injuries
in detail. The letter sent on Mr. Lincoln's behalf
claimed he suffered regular headaches, bloody noses, colds,
respiratory infections, and anxiety attacks. The letter sent
for Mr. Mosbrucker described his condition to include visual,
pulmonary, and emotional/psychiatric problems.
Plaintiffs' Medical Leave
at BNSF forwarded Mr. Lincoln's demand letter to Natalie
Jones, the Medical and Environmental Health
(“MEH”) Department Field Manager for BNSF's
Kansas division. It is unclear whether Mr. Mosbrucker's
demand letter was forwarded as well but, regardless, Ms.
Jones learned about both demand letters. In her role as Field
Manager, Ms. Jones consulted with Dr. Sharon Clark, a Field
Medical Officer for BNSF's medical department, to
determine whether plaintiffs should continue working. In May
2010, Dr. Clark determined that BNSF should place both
plaintiffs on a medical leave of absence. As a result,
plaintiffs were removed from their positions. Dr. Clark
explained her decision about Mr. Lincoln in an email she sent
As per our conversation today, based on the information in
[Mr. Woodfill's] letter, I don't see any other avenue
than to ask the employee for updated medical information to
either support or deny [Mr. Woodfill's] claims regarding
Doc. 73-15 at 1. Dr. Clark went on to explain that the
medical information Ms. Jones had for Mr. Lincoln was more
than a year old, and that Mr. Lincoln needed “to
provide updated medical information to clarify the newly
raised safety issues [presented in the demand letter] despite
the employee's verbal claims . . . that he can do his
job.” Id. at 1.
21, 2010, Division Engineer Darin Martin sent each plaintiff
a letter informing the two men they would be placed on a
medical leave of absence lasting from May 27, 2010 to June
27, 2010. The letter stated in part:
Whereas, you have worked successfully for 2 ½ years
since the alleged injury, we find it unfortunate to have to
request that you provide current medical information to our
Medical Department to support that you are indeed safe to
work as a [MOW] Machine Operator.
You may not even be aware that your attorney has placed this
burden on you, and we hope that you will contact our Medical
Field Manager, Natalie Jones, to quickly resolve this issue,
so that you can return to providing financially for your
Since the BNSF Railway is essentially placed on notice by the
letter, we do not want to give you job assignments that would
jeopardize your health and safety.
The Medical and Environmental Health Department determines
fitness of duty of BNSF employees by reviewing their medical
information. You will be placed on a thirty day medical leave
Doc. 59-12 at 1; see also Doc. 61-13 at 1. The
letters also asked each plaintiff to have his treating
physician fax Ms. Jones: (1) the diagnosis of the conditions
for which he was being treated, (2) the treatment plan or
treatment being received, (3) an estimate of how long
treatment would continue, and (4) information about their
functional level and restrictions. Doc. 59-12 at 1; see
also Doc. 61-13 at 1.
letters informed plaintiffs that BNSF had extended their
medical leave. Each such letter included a medical leave form
that instructed plaintiffs to read all of the information
carefully. The forms also instructed each plaintiff “to
work with [his] Field Manager or [the] Medical and
Environmental Health (MEH) Department” while he was off
duty. Doc. 59-30 at 2; Doc. 61-57 at 2. These subsequent
letters also advised that plaintiffs would need to be
“released by the medical department prior to returning
to work.” Doc. 59-30 at 2; Doc. 61-57 at 2.
13, 2010, Dr. Clark sent another email to certain BNSF
personnel, including Darin Martin, Natalie Jones, and Mr.
Bladsel. It read:
The employee did indeed miss only 3 days of work back in 2007
after a claimed exposure incident. He did work full duty
until his attorney, a Mr. Jared Woodfill, forwarded a . . .
letter to BNSF['s] claims Department noting that Mr.
Lincoln has suffered permanent injuries/illness due to the
2007 incident and demanded a considerable sum of money.
The conditions noted in the attorney's letter were such
that Mr. Lincoln's ability to work safely was brought
Due to this concern, it was decided that the employee should
not be allowed to remain at work until he provided updated
information regarding his medical conditions.
Please note that the impetus behind this removal from service
action is the letter from the employee's
voluntarily-selected legal representative.
To date, Mr. Lincoln has provided some medical information
requested of him. He is in the process of providing the
remainder of the information. To date, for the conditions for
which the employee has provided information, the employee
does appear to be able to perform his job duties.
. . .
The employee has put himself into this situation.
On one hand he is claiming that he has significant physical
ailments (which cause symptoms of safety concern) from an
incident in 2007-in order to garner money from BNSF claims.
On the other hand he is complaining that he was wrongfully
removed from service. He has been slow in providing the
evidence to support his current physical status (which brings
into question the attorney's claims of current illnesses)
. . . .
Doc. 73-16 at 1.
BNSF's Return to Work Process
MEH Department works with employees to determine their
“fitness for duty” in order to return to work
after being removed. The employee usually initiates this
“return to work” process by submitting medical
information to the MEH Department. As long as the
employee's medical information indicates that the
employee is fit to perform the requirements of his job, the
employee is released to work. Doc. 59-6 at 3. The
employee's fitness for duty review is triggered when the
employee provides documentation from his treating physician
that clears him to return to work. Id.
MEH department addresses an employee's return to work in
the following fashion. If the employee's physician
releases him to work but the employee's evaluation
precludes him from doing his assigned job, MEH will examine
whether there is another job that the employee can perform
that fits the physician's work recommendations. But, if
the physician does not release the employee to work, MEH will
discuss a craft transfer with the employee.
craft transfer policy allows employees who are represented by
a collective bargaining agreement to transfer from one craft
to another craft within BNSF's work force. But,
“[e]mployees must be eligible and meet all of the
requirements for a craft transfer in order to transfer to
another craft.” Doc. 74-37 at 1. General eligibility
requirements for an employee to transfer crafts include: (1)
applying through BNSF's career website for the position
to which the employee wishes to transfer; (2) meeting the
basic qualifications for the position as indicated by the job
posting; and (3) meeting the guidelines of the
supervisor/record review. Id. at 2. Also, an
employee seeking a craft transfer must follow the internal
selection process. Id. This process includes
participating in an interview with Human Resources and the
hiring manager. Id.
also looks outside BNSF for positions that the employee may
be qualified to perform. MEH will work with the employee to
develop a resume, provide leads, or assist the employee with
Plaintiffs' Return to Work Experience
BNSF placed plaintiffs on medical leave, they began working
with the MEH Department to try to return to work. Ms. Jones
testified that plaintiffs communicated well with her over the
course of their interactions. After Ms. Jones's departure
from BNSF, plaintiffs worked with others in the MEH
department including Laurie Graham and Chris McGinnis. These
interactions occurred over several years, and the following
timeline summarizes them.
Mr. Lincoln 2010
• On June 24, 2010, Ms. Jones documented that Mr.
Lincoln had a medical appointment in July and would submit a
final report about his medical conditions afterwards.
Later, in July, a case note documented that Ms. Jones had
sent both plaintiffs job postings about available clerk
In August, Mr. Lincoln was diagnosed with reactive airway
dysfunction system (RADS). Nurse practitioner Melissa West
provided a report from August 2010 stating that Mr. Lincoln
was suffering from residual complications from his 2007
chemical exposure. These complications included: (1) allergic
rhinitis; (2) epistaxis; (3) dyspnea on exertion; (4)
wheezing; (5) headaches; (6) insomnia; (7) anxiety; and (8)
fatigue. This report also asserted that Mr. Lincoln should be
restricted to indoor employment.
In September, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Lincoln a letter to confirm
some of their conversations. Specifically, Ms. Jones sought
Mr. Lincoln's pulmonary function test report. Ms.
Jones's letter also included study materials for Mr.
Lincoln to take the First Line Supervisor test.
Later in September, Ms. Jones emailed Mr. Lincoln with
information about an available welder position and confirmed
that she would administer the FLS test to Mr. Lincoln. He
passed the test.
Ms. Jones informed Mr. Lincoln that “[p]lacement as an
eligible FLS candidate is extremely likely due to the
expected high number of retirements.” Doc. 73-29 at 7.
A supplemental doctor's note from Mr. Lincoln's
physician dated February 7 or 9, 2011, stated: (1) Mr.
Lincoln still had chronic rhinitis and epistaxis; (2) outdoor
exposure triggered worsening of his symptoms; (3) Mr. Lincoln
was not able to return to work; and (4) the estimated date of
return to work was still indefinite for outdoor employment.
On June 14, 2011, Mr. Lincoln's nurse practitioner
certified that Mr. Lincoln had been disabled from performing
his regular occupation as of July 2010 with an undetermined
end date. Also, the letter certified that Mr. Lincoln was
permanently disabled from his regular occupation with
commentary that “outdoor exposures trigger worsening
rhinitis symptoms.” Doc. 59-18 at 1.
At a deposition taken during 2011, Mr. Lincoln testified that
he suffered from migraines and, because of his RADS
diagnosis, from shortness of breath. He testified that he was
miserable when he was outdoors, and that he could not return
comfortably to his job as a welder.
Ms. Jones wrote to Mr. Lincoln on July 28, 2011, encouraging
him to apply for additional upcoming clerk jobs. In the
letter, Ms. Jones told Mr. Lincoln that a “college
degree will be a plus” as would Microsoft Office skills
and typing 25 WPM. Doc. 59-13 at 10. The letter did not
mention any other requirements for the clerk positions.
MEH agreed to send Mr. Lincoln to Washburn Institute of
Technology in Topeka to take a class so he could pass the WPM
typing requirement for the clerk positions and develop
additional PC and Windows skills. He completed the class and
received a certificate. Mr. Lincoln believed that if he
passed the typing test, he would be given a clerk position.
Mr. McGinnis took over for Ms. Jones as Field Manager for
BNSF's MEH Department. In August, he authorized BNSF to
pay for a custom class for Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. McGinnis offered Mr. Lincoln assistance in getting back
to work. This discussion included his MOW job, or going to
college and finding another position.
Laurie Graham introduced herself to Mr. Lincoln as the new
BNSF MEH field manager in a letter dated February 3, 2012.
The letter advised:
According to your file, I see that we have not heard from you
in quite a while. I see that you were completing keyboarding
and possibly other courses. I would welcome the opportunity
to speak with you regarding this training and your current
medical status. My goal is to assist you with returning to
Doc. 59-13 at 20.
Ms. Graham entered a case note on September 6, 2012, that
documented a conversation with Mr. Lincoln. The note stated
the following: (1) Mr. Lincoln advised that he had passed a
26 word-per-minute typing exam; (2) Ms. Graham discussed
alternate internal jobs; (3) Mr. Lincoln reported that he
thought he could work in a shop environment, but that his
doctor identified chemicals as the irritant in the shops; (4)
Ms. Graham confirmed that Mr. Lincoln had three and a half
years of college.
On October 1, Ms. Graham sent Mr. Lincoln a letter. It
I have spent some time researching opportunities within BNSF
since our last conversation and am writing to let you know
what steps need to be taken to get you to a competitive
With your restrictions of needing an “inside
environment” as well as your completion of 3½
years of college, applying for a clerk position would be the
most reasonable approach. You are currently typing at 26 net
wpm which is barely above the 25 net wpm minimum requirement.
Definitely practice at home to increase this skill.
We discussed the fact that the applicant pool for these clerk
positions are highly competitive with many applicants having
advanced degrees in accounting and/or finance. Completing
your degree as well as taking classes in accounting or
finance would make you more competitive. We would be willing
to pay for two quarters of college credits to assist you with
In regards to your applications for a Mechanical position,
since these positions require 75% of outside work, you are
significantly limited in being selected for one of these
positions. I would suggest that you work with your physician
to identify a respirator that we would be willing to provide
to use not only in the mechanical shop environment but also
I would also recommend that you take advantage of vocational
services for skill enhancement, interviewing skills, and
resume development to help you in securing employment outside
BNSF. I can be reached at the number above should you decide
to pursue any of these options.
Doc. 59-20 at 1.
On October 1, Mr. Lincoln sent Darin Martin a letter with the
reference line “Notice of Request for
Accommodation.” Doc. 59-19. In the letter, Mr. Lincoln
formally requested that BNSF enter the interactive process of
evaluating jobs to find those that fit his qualifications and
restrictions, or ask if BNSF could reasonably accommodate to
fit his restrictions. See Id. He specifically
requested that BNSF search for non-MOW placement at BNSF in
addition to considering MOW placement. Id.
On December 4, 2012, Mr. Lincoln sent a letter to Jeanne
Artzer enclosing an “employee request for
accommodation” form. Doc. 59-21. Part of the form
required a physician's signature, but Mr. Lincoln never
got a doctor to sign it. This letter included an attachment
describing the accommodations that Mr. Lincoln sought. The
accommodations he sought asked to “keep outdoor work as
infrequent and brief as possible to limit exposure to
allergens and toxins.” Id. at 2.
BNSF never informed Mr. Lincoln that he had filled out the
Request for Accommodation form incorrectly.
On June 23, 2010, Mr. Mosbrucker provided BNSF with a
“Statement of Sickness” form signed by his nurse
practitioner. The form stated that: (1) Mr. Mosbrucker had
been evaluated for chemical exposure; (2) he had been
referred to a pulmonologist; (3) he started medication for
anxiety on June 23, 2010; (4) he was expected to be seen
again on July 14, 2010; (5) his current condition included
“Anxiety-probable PTSD, need further psychiatric
evaluation;” and (6) a return to work date of
“2011 (unknown).” Doc. 61-15 at 2.
Ms. Jones recommended that Mr. Mosbrucker apply for positions
even if he lacked the basic qualifications for them so that
he might gain experience from applying and interviewing. Ms.
Jones also recommended to Mr. Mosbrucker that he take courses
to enhance his skills.
On July 1, 2010, Ms. Jones documented that Mr. Mosbrucker had
informed her that his doctor was taking him off work until
2011 without any known return to work date.
On July 29, 2010, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker a letter
informing him of postings for clerk positions. It stated:
“[p]lease note there is on the job training, and the
lifting requirement may be accommodated by breaking down to
smaller lifting loads.” Doc. 74-33 at 4.
Mr. Mosbrucker's nurse practitioner sent a disability
letter to Ms. Jones stating that it was undetermined whether
Mr. Mosbrucker was permanently disabled, but that his
estimated return to work date was “pending psychiatric
evaluation.” Doc. 61-15 at 3.
Around September 1, 2012, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker a
letter reminding him that he could continue to apply for any
craft transfer positions that BNSF posted. She also informed
Mr. Mosbrucker that her program would pay for refresher
courses for different crafts.
Mr. Mosbrucker's nurse practitioner sent BNSF a letter in
mid-September. It stated: “Mr. Mosbruck[er] is
suffering from many residual complications since [his 2007
chemical exposure] including headaches, dyspnea on exertion,
chest pain, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.” Doc. 61-16
at 1. It also stated that Mr. Mosbrucker “should be
restricted to employment indoors.” Id.
In late October, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker another
letter. In it, Ms. Jones reminded Mr. Mosbrucker that BNSF
employees have the opportunity to seek modifications and
accommodations in their craft, and that she hoped he could
resume his MOW position. The letter also reminded Mr.
Mosbrucker that job postings change daily, and that he should
check for opportunities a couple of times per week. Doc.
61-15 at 20. It also informed Mr. Mosbrucker that the First
Line Supervisor test offers exempt employment opportunities
with BNSF, and offered to administer the test at his
convenience in Topeka. Id. Finally, Ms. Jones'
letter offered to help cover the cost of tuition and books
for Mr. Mosbrucker to complete a functional program at the
local community college. Id.
Ms. Jones administered the First Line Supervisor test to Mr.
Mosbrucker. He did not pass it.
Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker another letter on November 30,
2010, reminding Mr. Mosbrucker about the upcoming enrollment
for the spring semester. She also offered to assist with
tuition and books. Doc. 61-15 at 23.
In December, Mr. Mosbrucker's nurse practitioner signed a
supplemental doctor's statement about him. This statement
provided an estimated return to work date of May 1, 2011, and
reiterated that Mr. Mosbrucker was unable to work outdoors in
proximity to moving trains.
BNSF has not completed a fitness for duty review for Mr.
Mosbrucker since 2010 because he has never provided BNSF with
documentation suggesting that he was able to return to work.
In January 2011, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker another
letter. This letter asked about his interest in introductory
computer classes such as Microsoft Office to advance his
skills. The letter also informed him that BNSF could assist
him through four semesters of vocational or community
college. Doc. 61-15 at 24.
In late January, Ms. Jones wrote a letter to Mr.
Mosbrucker's nurse practitioner requesting an update
about his medical condition. His nurse practitioner Mansfield
responded, affirming that Mr. Mosbrucker was restricted to
indoor employment to prevent worsening of his condition.
In May, Ms. Jones sent another letter to Mr. Mosbrucker
requesting his medical records from his pulmonologist and
psychiatrist so that she could make a fitness for duty
recommendation. Mr. Mosbrucker does not recall making any
efforts to secure these records.
In July, Ms. Jones sent Mr. Mosbrucker a letter advising him
about future clerk positions that required him to type 25
words per minute.
Mr. McGinnis sent a letter to Mr. Mosbrucker introducing
himself and asking for his medical records. Mr.
McGinnis's letter included his phone number, fax number,
and email address, but Mr. Mosbrucker never faxed or emailed
any medical records or spoke to Mr. McGinnis. Mr. McGinnis
also informed Mr. Mosbrucker of some clerk positions with
BNSF. Doc. 61-15 at 33.
Mr. McGinnis authorized BNSF to pay for a custom skill class
for Mr. Mosbrucker. Mr. Mosbrucker earned a certificate for
PC and Windows keyboard training.
In 2011, Mr. Mosbrucker testified at a deposition that he
could no longer do his job for fear of working in close
quarters with trains. He also testified that he had been told
by his doctors that he could not work outdoors.
Laurie Graham replaced Mr. McGinnis in 2012. Ms. Graham sent
Mr. Mosbrucker a letter informing him that it was her goal to
assist him in returning to work. Doc. 61-15 at 38.
Ms. Graham's case notes from August 9, 2012, state that
she offered Mr. Mosbrucker free external vocational services
to assist with resume development and training and external
job placement. The notes state that he had refused these
services. Ms. Graham informed Mr. Mosbrucker that when
candidates apply for jobs with BNSF, BNSF selects the best
Ms. Graham sent Mr. Mosbrucker a letter dated October 1,
2012. It stated that she had reviewed reasonable options for
Mr. Mosbrucker to return to work based on future openings at
BNSF, his skills, and his physical restrictions. Doc. 61-15
at 41. She informed him that the jobs he had applied for
required him to have passed either the Mechanical Aptitude
Test or First Line Supervisor (“FLS”) Test, which
he had not done, or that he be able to work outdoors around
trains and heavy equipment. Id. She also suggested
that he: (1) retake the Mechanical Aptitude Test; (2) enroll
in a Microsoft Office class; or (3) broaden his employment
search outside BNSF. Id.
During this time, Mr. Mosbrucker was still restricted from
working outdoors. He also suffered from a fear of trains when
they were moving at 70 mph speeds.
In October, Ms. Graham entered a case note documenting that
Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Mosbrucker had called her in a conference
call to vent about their frustrations (i.e., how
they were not getting interviews, taking tests, and not
getting craft transfers). Her notes confirmed that neither
plaintiff wanted an outside job, that she had received their
ADA letters, and that she would forward them to the
appropriate people for handling.
Mr. Mosbrucker wrote Ms. Artzer a letter and attached an
“employee request for accommodation form.” Part
of the form required a Health Professional's signature.
No physician signed Mr. Mosbrucker's form. Doc. 61-24 at
Ms. Artzer testified that when a prospective BNSF employee
requests an accommodation of a health condition, before the
interactive process can begin, the employee must fill out a
“Request for Accommodation” form, and also must
have a doctor fill out a “Healthcare Provider's
Certification.” BNSF does not pay doctors to fill out
the certification; the employee must pay for it.
Mr. Mosbrucker lost his health insurance in January 2012, and
remained uninsured in the years that followed. As a result,
Mr. Mosbrucker filled out the healthcare forms, but he did
not have a healthcare provider sign it.
On November 5, 2012, a month after Mr. Mosbrucker sent his
formal request for accommodation, BNSF changed Mr.
Mosbrucker's internal employment status from vocational
rehabilitation to “estoppel status.”
plaintiffs applied for a number of BNSF jobs. The next two
sections discuss them.