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Attorney Ada K. Wong Wins at Ninth Circuit Against Walmart in Daniel Garcia v. Walmart

Updated: Jun 21

On May 6, 2024, Managing Attorney Ada K. Wong of AKW LAW argued in front of the Ninth Circuit in Daniel Garcia v. Walmart. The case was dismissed at the district court level at the summary judgment stage when the judge found there were no genuine issues of material fact. On May 29, 2024, the 3-panel court ruled in favor of Wong and her client, plaintiff Daniel Garcia. This ruling allows Garcia to have his day in court at trial in front of his peers.

The main claims Attorney Wong brought were federal and state claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation. Plaintiff Daniel Garcia worked for Walmart for about 25 years, where he was an Associate. He had a degenerative eye condition since he was young, but that never stopped him from living life to the fullest and working. This was until the revolving door of supervisors eventually thought he was too much of a “liability” and told him he “should retire”. After taking about a month off of work, Garcia asked to return to work. But instead of doing what employers are supposed to do, Walmart did the opposite. They strung him along and told him to just “wait for a spot” and said they did not think there was “any work for a blind person in the store.” Garcia kept trying to go back to work for almost 4 months, all the while Walmart kept telling him to just “wait for a spot”, but really never had any intention of ever returning him to work.

This is wrong and a blatant violation of the disability and retaliation laws that protect not just Garcia, but all employees across the nation. Every employee has the right to work regardless of any disability, mental or physical impairment. Our workforce was built on equal rights for all. Walmart not only discriminated against Garcia because of his vision impairment (he was working safely even with this eye condition for over 2 decades), but when he spoke up against management, they retaliated against him by not letting him go back to work, forcing him out of his job and only source of income. All the while knowing how hard it will be for someone with his eye condition to find another stable job. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they knew it was wrong. So they tried to cover it up after the fact by blaming Garcia himself.

Attorney Wong is quoted in Law360: “We look forward to a jury trial with Mr. Garcia's peers to hold this conglomerate accountable for what they chose to do to him. They have taken zero responsibility. Almost 5 years later, the company is still blaming Mr. Garcia for its own intentional violations of the laws — the laws that are meant to protect every one of us as workers."

Watch Ada K. Wong’s Ninth Circuit oral argument via the link below (starting at 1 hour 49 minutes):

Attorney Ada K. Wong argues in front of Ninth Circuit

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