Annie Cosby Jan. 20, 2015, 7:57am


A Montgomery County man is suing over claims his employment was terminated based upon his age and disability.

Danny J. Delaval filed a lawsuit Nov. 17 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against PTech Drilling Tubulars, citing age discrimination.

According to the complaint, Delaval began working for PTech on Jan. 1, 2012, as a machinist and one of the original employees but became plant manager in May 2013. The complaint states 27-year-old Jesse Edwards became operations manager in fall 2013, and in October 2013 began concocting reasons to write up Delaval, who was 59, by far the oldest regular employee, and regularly referred to as “old man.”

Delaval says that in December 2013, Edwards succeeded in demoting him and cutting his pay by almost half, after which most of Delaval's work was "helper" work and he was replaced as plant manager by Christ Trimble, who is far less experienced and 30 years younger.

Delaval says he became ill in late February 2014 with what his doctors suspect is related to COPD and hepatitis C, and beginning March 3, 2014, he started a series of doctor appointments and medical tests. According to the lawsuit, upper management, including one of the owners of PTech, was aware of the situation, even exchanging emails with Delaval, but the younger supervisors used the opportunity to terminate him.

Delaval says on March 27, 2014, Trimble brought him into the office for a meeting with Edwards, where Edwards told him he was terminated because he did not provide a doctor’s excuse for being absent from work as required by company policy even though there is no such requirement in the employee manual and Delaval had provided such documents to PTech. The defendant is accused of age discrimination and failing to accommodate Delaval's disability.

Delaval seeks back pay, front pay, loss of benefits, liquidated damages (or, alternatively, compensatory and punitive damages), attorney fees, interest and all costs of court. He is represented by attorney David C. Holmes of Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number: 4:14-CV-03296

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