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Costner v. United States

  • By: Joseph Dewey
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

The 1983 federal court case that became a landmark ruling in the battle for equal rights for the disabled, including the deaf, was brought by Sam Costner, a 30-year-old truck driver in Texas who had been fired by a large trucking concern when it discovered that Costner was epileptic. Diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15 years after fracturing his skull in a fall from a tree, Costner had long controlled the seizures through a strict regimen of medication and had gone more than 20 years without a seizure. During 15 of those years he had been a licensed commercial truck driver, which had qualified him to drive trucks across the state. He had an exemplary driving record and had moved large cargo routinely and without ...

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