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Judge: State police justified in firing of Homestead trooper with grand mal seizures

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

The Pennsylvania State Police had good reason to fire a Homestead man who was a probationary state trooper when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in July 2009 that left him with grand mal seizures, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Emmett Coleman, 34, was seeking reinstatement to the force, lost wages and damages. U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Eddy dismissed his discrimination lawsuit, ruling that the agency thoroughly assessed his condition for more than a year before firing him in February 2011 for injuries from an off-duty car accident.

Coleman is physically capable of doing the job but the possibility of him having a seizure “while engaged in a critical function of the job, poses an unacceptably great risk of severe damage to himself, other troopers and the general public,” Eddy said.

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