LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles police lieutenant who ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 Democratic primary for the 25th Congressional District seat can take his disability discrimination suit against the city to trial, a judge ruled.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Feffer on Monday denied a motion by the City Attorney's Office to dismiss Lt. Lou Vince's case.
The city maintained there were no triable issues.
According to the suit filed in April 2018, Vince was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1995 and worked his way up to lieutenant, receiving commendations along the way. He suffered a back injury while on duty and was placed to medical leave to get treatment and was continually pressured to return to work before he was fully healed, he alleges.
When Vince returned to duty, the LAPD failed to accommodate him for his medical restrictions in alleged violation of the state Fair Employment and Housing Act, the suit states. He was forced to perform duties in violation of his medical restrictions, exacerbating his existing injury, the suit states.
“The department harassed, discriminated and retaliated against (Vince) on the basis of his disability,'' the suit states.
The alleged mistreatment intensified after he reported it up the chain of command, according to the suit.
In their court papers, lawyers for the City Attorney's Office disputed Vince's disability discrimination claims.
“Although he took medical leave ... to have back surgery, he returned to work in September 2015 without any medical restrictions and provided a doctor's note to the city making clear that he was better, had no disability and had no medical restrictions,'' the defense attorneys maintain in their court papers.
Trial of Vince's case is scheduled for June 7, 2021.
Vince ran in the 2016 Democratic primary for the right to challenge then-incumbent Republican Rep. Stephen Knight. Vince lost to eventual Democratic challenger Bryan Caforio, whom Knight defeated in the general election.
The seat is the same one in which former Rep. Katie Hill defeated Knight in 2018, only to resign later over a scandal involving nude photos. Republican businessman Mike Garcia won election to the seat in May after defeating Democrat Christy Smith, but the two will square off again on Nov. 3.
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