Supreme Court squeezes carpal tunnel claims
In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the court ruled that a former assembly line worker did not have a basis for suing due to her repetitive motion injuries. The court ruled that disability cannot be defined solely by one's ability to perform certain tasks at work. "Whether someone is disabled also must depend on the ease with which they perform "activities that are of central importance to most people's daily lives," wrote justice Sandra Day O'Connor for the court. "If Congress intended everyone with a physical impairment that precluded the performance of some isolated, unimportant or particularly difficult manual task to qualify as disabled, the number of disabled Americans would surely have been much higher," the court wrote. The ruling does not preclude protection under the ADA for anyone with carpal tunnel or similar partial disabilities, but lawyers point out that making these claims will be tougher.