Schizophrenic Donor Can Take Plasma Center to Court for Discrimination

Octapharma in Salt Lake City refused to let Brent Levorsen donate
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2016 6:35 PM CDT
Schizophrenic Donor Can Take Plasma Center to Court for Discrimination

(Newser) – A man with schizophrenia will be able to take a plasma-donation company to court for discrimination following a ruling this week, Courthouse News Service reports. Octapharma Plasma in Salt Lake City told Brent Levorsen he couldn't donate out of fear he would have a schizophrenic episode during the process. This despite notes from two doctors stating Levorsen could donate plasma up to twice per week. Levorsen's discrimination claim was dismissed by a federal judge last year after Switzerland-based Octapharma argued it wasn't a public service—because it gives money for donations as opposed to taking money for a service—and therefore not subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

On Tuesday, a 10th Circuit court overturned that ruling with a 2-1 vote. Judge Nancy Moritz says Octapharma "is a 'service establishment' for two exceedingly simple reasons. It's an establishment. And it provides a service." Levorsen is now free to continue with his discrimination claim against the company. (Read more discrimination stories.)

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