Baytown man claims termination due to worker's comp claim

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 21, 2011, 5:36am

GALVESTON - A Baytown man has filed suit against his employer after it allegedly terminated him for filing a workers' compensation claim.

A lawsuit filed against Jacobs Engineering, Inc. June 6 in Galveston County District Court insists Michael Stevenson "would be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits in the event that he was injured in the course of his employment."

Court papers show Stevenson sustained injuries on Feb. 16, 2010, when he lifted one end of a pipe as instructed by his supervisor.

As a result, the plaintiff filed a workers' compensation claim and took other steps to obtain the benefits permitted under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act.

However, Jacobs, which is a subscribing employer under the act, dismissed Stevenson shortly afterwards, the original petition says.

The complainant believes his pursuit of compensation was a factor behind his supposed termination, stating the defendant demonstrated a "conscious disregard" of the rights of its employees.

"The defendant, its agent, servants and employees discharged or in some other manner discriminated against the plaintiff because he, in good faith, filed a claim, or caused to be instituted, in good faith, a proceeding under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act," the suit says.

Consequently, he sues for mental anguish and lost wages and benefits.

Attorney Philip J. Orth III is representing Stevenson, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0901

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