Employee claims termination due to worker's comp claim

Kelly Holleran Oct. 12, 2010, 11:55am

A Jefferson County resident has filed suit against his former employer, alleging he was fired after filing for workers' compensation benefits.

Charles Cunningham claims he sustained an injury on July 14 while working for defendant Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems.

After the injury, Cunningham filed for workers' compensation benefits with Wingfoot's insurance carrier, according to the complaint filed Sept. 30 in Jefferson County District Court.

When Cunningham returned to work on July 19, he was still taking medication and was placed on clean-up duty, the suit states. However, even after Cunningham ceased taking the medication, he remained on clean-up duty, the complaint says.

Cunningham claims he attempted to return to regular duty, but was terminated on July 29 for "lack of production."

"The true reason for the discharge was retaliation for the Plaintiff's action in filing a workers' compensation claim," the suit states. "Plaintiff was in fact ready, willing and able to return to his normal job duties."

Because of his termination, Cunningham lost wages and suffered emotional pain, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Cunningham is seeking back wages, front pay, exemplary damages, interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by John Werner of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A188-480

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