In what turned out to be one of the last published opinions Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. joins while still a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court on Monday ordered a new trial in a disability discrimination suit due to faulty jury instructions that erroneously required the plaintiff to show that he had requested a specific reasonable accommodation.

In its 39-page opinion in Armstrong v. Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital, a unanimous three-judge panel found that there was a “substantial likelihood” that the jury incorrectly thought that plaintiff Arnie Armstrong had the burden of identifying and requesting a “specific reasonable accommodation,” while the law requires only that he prove he had requested “an accommodation.”

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