United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SHANE S. GANDY, Plaintiff,
PEPSI-COLA & NATIONAL BRAND BEVERAGES, LTD., Defendant.
SHANE S. GANDY, pro se, Pennsauken, New Jersey,
ROGER PAUL FRYE, Roger Paul
Frye, Esq., Audubon, New Jersey, Former Counsel for Plaintiff 
BLANK ROME LLP, Stephen M. Orlofsky, Esq., Anthony B. Haller, Esq., Brooke T. Iley, Esq., Princeton, New Jersey Counsel for Defendant Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages, Ltd.
JOSEPH E. IRENAS, Senior District Judge.
This is a disability discrimination suit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. Plaintiff Shane Gandy asserts that his former employer, Defendant Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages, Ltd. ("Pepsi"), discriminated against him on the basis of his disability when Pepsi fired him and failed to provide him with reasonable accommodations.
Pepsi moves for summary judgment. Because the record evidence cannot support an inference that the relevant decision makers knew of Gandy's disability, or had reason to know that his anger outbursts were a symptom of his disability, the motion will be granted.
Gandy, who worked in Pepsi's warehouse, admittedly suffers from anger and frustration issues. The record discloses three separate occasions in the year prior to Gandy's termination where Gandy "lost his temper" with various co-workers, leading to "verbal altercations" and in one instance, a physical fight. (Plantiff's Ex. 3) Gandy asserts that the confrontations were started by his co-workers, who liked to harass him; however, he does not dispute that the confrontations occurred.
After the second incident, Pepsi required Gandy to attend an anger management counseling program, which Gandy successfully completed. (Plaintiff's Exs. 3, 12)
After the third incident, which was the physical fight, Pepsi terminated Gandy. (Plaintiff's Exs. 3, 13)
The parties have stipulated that: (1) Gandy suffers from "traumatic brain injury" ("TBI"); (2) Gandy's TBI is a disability within the meaning of the ADA; and (3) Gandy's TBI "may have affected his ability to cope with, manage, and resolve anger issues." (Plaintiff's Ex. 7) Gandy asserts that his TBI was caused by a "catastrophic" automobile accident in 1999, which left him in a coma for some time, and caused him to miss an entire year of work. Gandy also contends that the accident "left a very obvious scar on his head." (Moving Brief, p. 6)
Shortly after Gandy returned to work in 2000, after his accident, he testified that he gave his supervisor at the time, Joe Puccio, a letter from his psychologist. (Gandy Dep. p. 25-26) The letter reads in its entirety:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have been treating Mr. Gandy for the psychological symptoms that occurred following his head injury. He reported that he experienced some behavioral difficulties when returning to work, mainly consisting of temper outbursts. This is not unusual for individuals that have sustained a head injury, as they attempt to ...