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May 19, 2006

Is A Peanut Allergy A Disability?

We've received a couple of pings regarding the protection of a child peanut allergy under the ADA, so we did some combing on-line to find out more. Please note: this is not legal advice. If you find yourself in a legal situation, ChildFoodAllergy.com recommends seeking the advice of a competent legal professional.

According to LaborLawyers.com There has been differing opinions with regard to a child food allergy qualifying as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In a case with a pre-school vs. a child with a peanut allergy (Land v. Baptist Medical Center) the court ruled that the child did not qualify for protection under the ADA.

Under the ADA, a disability is 1) a physical or mental impairment that 2) substantially limits 3) one or more of the major life activities of such individual.

The court found that the child did have a physical impairment and that a major life activity was limited. However, her breathing was only restricted if exposed to peanut products, so she was not entitled to protection under ADA.

In similar situations, courts have ruled the other way, so there is still room for interpretation in the law and courts will take it case by case.

Posted by David at May 19, 2006 6:56 AM