A federal jury in Alexandria, Va., found that the FBI discriminated against a disabled veteran who lost his left hand during a military training accident.
Justin Slaby, 30, lost his position as an FBI special agent trainee after officials decided that he could not safely use his firearm with his prosthesis.
It now appears he will get the chance to go back to the FBI Academy and become the first person with a prosthetic limb to serve as an FBI agent. In addition to the job, Slaby was also awarded $75,000 in damages.
Slaby's attorneys argued that their client, who is right-handed, can operate a firearm with that hand and that FBI trainers subjected him to extreme and unfair scrutiny that was not levied at other trainees.
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He was obviously pleased with the verdict.
"There is no way anyone who's objective and has no biases could sit through more than a week of evidence and not come to the conclusion that the jury did," Slaby said. "I never doubted this, from the first day I was dismissed all the way through to today in court."
Slaby served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, JS Online reported.
“I remember right after I got hurt, the first thing I thought was everything that I am, and ever was, is gone because all the skills that I had, what I thought at the time, depended on having two hands,” said Slaby.
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He eventually changed that perspective.
“I mean, a guy with no legs ran in the Olympics this year," Slaby said. "I don’t know how much more of a wake up call has to be sent before things are changed.”
“It was the right thing to do. I had to fight it,” Slaby said about his lawsuit. “I just hope it opens the door a little bit — it makes it easier for some people. The bottom line is that it’s much bigger than me and the bureau and our dispute. It’s about, literally, fair treatment for people.”