Man with hepatitis claims employer fired him due to sickness

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 28, 2010, 6:38am

MARSHALL-An East Texas man claims he was fired after his employer learned that he had hepatitis C.

Alleging discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Darrell Newcomer filed suit against his employers General Shelters of Texas Ltd., Center Staffing Solutions Inc., East Texas Staffing Solutions Inc. doing business as First Choice Personnel Services Inc. and Center Staffing Solutions.

The suit was filed April 23 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Newcomer states that initially his employer asked him not to return to work until the cut on his arm healed. He claims he was later told that the defendants did not want him back because of his hepatitis C. The plaintiff claims that he did not pose a danger to anyone's health while employed at General Shelters.

"Simply put, Defendants terminated Plaintiff Newcomer because they perceived him to have a disability which they considered to be a liability to the company," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages and benefits; reinstatement and/or front pay, including fringe benefits; mental pain and anguish; emotional distress, humiliation and embarrassment; interest; attorneys' fees; and court costs.

Newcomer argues that the defendants' actions were willful, wanton, reckless, intentional and malicious, which entitles him to seek punitive damages.

Nacogdoches attorney Alex A. Castetter of Stuckey, Garrigan & Castetter is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No 2:10cv00138

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