Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Company

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held in Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Company, that compensatory and punitive damages are unavailable to a  plaintiff who brings an ADA retaliation claim.  Consistent with a prior Seventh Circuit ruling  in Kramer v. Banc. of Am. Sec., 355 F.3d 961 (2004), the Alvarado Court found that the ADA specifically excludes a retaliation claim under Section 12203 from awards of  compensatory and punitive damages.  The court reasoned that Section 1981(a)(2) of the ADA does not list claims brought under section 12203 as one of the enumerated categories of claims meriting compensatory and punitive damages.  Since the statute specifically enumerated other claims under the ADA where punitive and compensatory damages are proper remedies, the court found that Congress intended for those claims, and not those under Section 12203, to get punitive and compensatory damages as a remedy.  In addition, the court held that since ADA retaliation claims are only subject to equitable relief, no jury trial is available.

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