Eau de Lawsuit: Woman sues over scent

  1. Thu Jul 5, 6:10 AM ET

    DETROIT - An employee in the Detroit planning department who claims she is severely sensitive to perfumes and other cosmetics has sued the city, saying a co-worker's strong fragrance prohibits her from working.
    Susan McBride's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, says the work environment is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She wants a ban on such scents at work — and unspecified damages.
    City spokesman Matt Allen declined to comment, telling The Detroit News the city does not normally comment on litigation or personnel issues.
    McBride, who joined the planning department in 2000, says problems started a year ago when the co-worker, who isn't identified in the lawsuit, transferred into her department.
    "This employee not only wore a strong scent, but also plugged in a scented room deodorizer," the lawsuit states. "Ms. McBride was overcome by the smell almost instantly, causing her to go home sick."
    The co-worker later agreed to stop using the room deodorizer, but kept using perfume, the lawsuit states.

  2. This is ridiculous... And I thought the McDonalds lawsuit was crazy...
  3. On the one hand, I understand the importance of being sensitive to a coworker's allergies.

    On the other hand, I find it interesting that the woman she had a problem with isn't even named in the lawsuit.

    And I don't think you can even call it a disability unless it was a severe allergy and she had medical documentation.

    I find it a little too lawsuit happy to take it out on the entire city when it was one coworker she had a problem with. (Who, by the way, apologized and unplugged the room deoderizer).
  4. unspecified damages? whatever! if the scent bugged her THAT much, she could have just asked the coworker to stop plugging in the deodorizer. but now she wants money from the CITY?? doesn't she realize that means money from everybody else - the taxpayers?? she probably had personal beef with the coworker, but even still...
  5. Good for her, I totally understand. I'll bet that city had a policy that in the work place, such scents were not permitted and then didn't bother to enforce it. I'm sure that there is more to it than that, but it sounds like that woman probably had a terrible time.

    The McDonald's cases weren't frivilous--people were burned to the bone in their private areas and hands. Reading the court decisions for it was eye-opening.
  6. I get what you're saying, but there probably wasn't an existing policy. In which case she should have requested a change in location so she's not sitting right next to the coworker. Or, she should be allowed to sit by a window or have a battery operated fan.
  7. I could understand if she had a serious medical problem that was induced when her nose was clouded with scents. But in all reality that is very unlikely as no medical problems were mentioned in the article besides her "having to go home sick".

    Come on woman. Stop wasting people's time.

    Yeesh :hrmm: It seems like suing over ridiculous matters has become a world spread hobby.

    And this is OT but Caitlin, you are so sweet finding news stories and posting them for us!
  8. :rolleyes: Couldn't she have just asked her (or her boss) nicely and explained the situation??
  9. She should have told a manager who probably would have told the other employee to lay off the perfume.

    This was a big issue at my last place of employment. At one point they told us we couldn't use scented lotion/body spray in the office. They also had no problem bringing ladies into the office to tell them to lighten up on their perfume. Some woman really do go overboard with fragrance, one spray is enough.
  10. ^^ Especially when they use the heavy stuff like Shalimar :yucky: LOL!
  11. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy them!
  12. good point, shoulderache. i think a lot of people (myself included) read a story like the mcdonald's story and just write it off as stupidity, when we really don't know the full story.

    on the other hand, i do think there are a lot of frivolous lawsuits!
  13. By the McDonalds lawsuit, I meant the mothers who filed lawsuits because their kids got obese because of McDonalds.
  14. After reading this story, I have two opposite views:

    I can understand what the woman is going through because when I'm in public places all the scents can be overwhelming (and I know that carpeted offices can bother many people because of all the mold and other icky stuff that gets stuck in it), however I think that it was crazy of her to take her issue up to the higher authorites when she could have easily asked to have a window seat, have an air filter system installed to clean the air (if that was also bothering her),or even just request to work at home where she could be perfume-free.

    But that's just my two cents :smile:
  15. sounds like she has a case here....