East Texas Medical Center accused of firing employee for taking medical leave

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 25, 2011, 5:00am

TYLER - An east Texas paramedic has filed a lawsuit against his employer which claims his was terminated for taking medical leave.

Leslie Avant filed suit against East Texas Medical Center on April 11 in the Easter District of Texas, Tyler Division.

According to court records, while working as a paramedic on Feb. 13, 2010, Avant suffered an on-the-job injury. He was in the process of exiting the emergency vehicle when a driver collided into the ambulance.

Avant suffered acute kidney injury and renal failure. He states he was not able to return to work until April 2010.

Upon his return, he claims he received "cold shoulder treatment" from his supervisors.

While in the course of his duties in August, Avant aggravated his existing injury and was forced to take additional time off of work. Three weeks after his return to work in October, Avant was terminated for failing to complete continuing education classes.

Avant argues he was terminated in retaliation for taking medical leave.

The defendant is accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act and violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost wages and benefits, lost pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, liquidated damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Avant is represented by Michael L. Scanes of Scanes, Routh & James in Waco. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:11-cv-00177

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