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Ali v. Wang Laboratories, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Wang Laboratories, Inc. (Wang) sought to have physical and mental examinations of Ali after Ali claimed to be terminated from employment in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Under FRCP 35(a), a defendant may compel a plaintiff to undergo physical and mental examination if there is good cause and the plaintiff’s physical and mental condition is in question.

    Facts.

    Ali was employed by Wang Laboratories, Inc. (Wang) where he claimed to have suffered physical injury that caused permanent physical impairment. Ali argued that his physical impairments classified him as a person with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and was terminated from employment in violation of the ADA. Ali sought damages for emotional distress and sought reinstatement because he could still perform the essential functions of the job. Wang sought to have physical and mental examinations of Ali to determine whether or not his injuries existed.

    Issue.

    Whether a defendant may compel a plaintiff to go under physical and mental examination if there is good cause and the plaintiff’s physical and mental condition is in question.

    Held.

    Yes. Ali must submit to both a physical and mental examination because the defendant has displayed good cause. A claim for damages for emotional distress puts Ali’s mental condition at issue. Ali’s physical condition is also at issue because Ali claims to have physical impairments from a work-related injury.

    Discussion.

    FRCP 35(a) allows the defendant to seek a physical or mental examination of the plaintiff. The defendant is required to prove both that the plaintiff’s physical and mental condition is in controversy and show good cause for the examination.


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