Termination could mean bad schools for kids, woman's suit claims

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 3, 2009, 8:59am

GALVESTON � Alleging she was wrongfully terminated, a Santa Fe woman's suit claims the job loss might force her family to move to a poor-performing school district.

Lorrie A. Dazey alleges she was fired two months ago from her job as an excavator after because she pursued a workers' compensation claim.

Dazey's wrongful termination lawsuit against Salt Lake City, Utah-based Savage Services Corporation says the defendant failed to report Dazey's injury claim when it occurred on Feb. 8.

"This is an action for wrongful discharge, based on the plaintiff's discharge for pursuing a worker's compensation claim against the defendant," the original petition says.

The suit was filed on May 29 in Galveston County District Court.

The plaintiff claims to have suffered severe mental anguish and deteriorating physical health as a result of her termination, and is fearing the worst for her family.

"Her family depends on a two-earner income and without Mrs. Dazey's income, they do not know how they will survive," the suit states.

"They will more than likely lose their home and automobiles and be forced to move the children from a school district with great academic test scores to one with poor scores."

The plaintiff was engaged in excavation duties for BP in Texas City on behalf of Savage when she sustained injury.

Afterwards, Dazey consulted her supervisor in regards to filing a claim. She was instructed to use her health insurance, court papers say.

Dazey, who worked for Savage for more than a year, spent a month after the undisclosed incident pursuing the claim and disability compensation from the Social Security Administration, only to be dismissed on March 2.

Dazey explains she was paid $17 an hour plus $25.50 an hour for time-and-one-half overtime, which equates to $935 per week gross.

She also received a quarterly bonus which averaged $250 per quarter, matching 401k benefits, and health insurance, all of which were eliminated upon her firing.

Unemployed for almost 15 weeks, the plaintiff has lost approximately $13,000 in wages, according to the suit.

"Mrs. Dazey's pursuit of a worker's compensation claim has been frustrated," it says. "Mrs. Dazey is also going to suffer future pecuniary losses."

Dazey seeks a jury trial and restitution for what she calls an inconvenience.

Houston attorney Michael L. Dahlenburg is representing the plaintiff.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0821

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