Pitt disability lawsuit settled by mediator


TPN File Photo

Daniel Hinkson, the program director of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health in the Department of Infectious Diseases, filed a civil complaint against the University for allegedly discriminating against him on the basis of disability.

By Benjamin Nigrosh, News Editor

A mediator resolved a disability lawsuit by a former Pitt employee against the University last week.

Daniel Hinkson filed a civil complaint on Dec. 9, 2019, against Pitt in federal court for allegedly firing him based on a disability, as well as retaliating against him when he attempted to negotiate workplace accommodations. He alleged that the University’s actions violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and asked the court to award him back and front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and legal fees.

Hinkson said he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome during his employment at the Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health in 2018.

The case was referred to mediator David White and the mediation session was held May 7. The case was resolved the next day.

Hinkson’s lawyer, Michael Bruzzese, and University spokesperson Kevin Zwick declined to comment on the case’s resolution. Zwick also declined to say whether or not Hinkson’s job was restored.