Fired paramedic with diabetes settles discrimination case

A former fire department paramedic has settled a civil rights claim for $725,000 after being fired because of two health episodes related to diabetes, her attorneys announced Saturday.

In July, a federal jury found that Wayne Township Fire Department in Indianapolis violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it fired Kristine Rednour in 2011.

Her blood sugar levels had dropped twice while she was working, causing her to stop and drink sugary beverages to stabilize herself. She was later fired and a deputy chief told her she shouldn't have been hired in the first place because of her diabetes, according to court records.

The jury awarded her $123,500 for lost wages and benefits and $100,000 for emotional distress. A final settlement was confirmed by the township Saturday. It adds about $500,000 to the award.

Rednour was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 12, The Indianapolis Star reported. She now works as an emergency room paramedic at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. She filed her civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

"On behalf of Ms. Rednour, (the settlement) couldn't have come at a happier time," said Rednour attorney Kevin Betz, of the Indianapolis firm Betz and Blevins. The case demonstrates that people with diabetes "can work in emergency settings and should be allowed to work in emergency settings, and should not be prohibited from doing so," Betz said.

The fire department released a statement Saturday saying its administrators make personnel decisions "based on the safety of our citizens."

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