Woman alleges she was terminated because of surgery

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 5, 2011, 3:00pm


SHERMAN - A Texas woman has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against her employer after she allegedly lost her job due to facial reconstruction surgery.

Shawna Shuffield filed suit against Community Portable X-Ray Inc. on Sept. 2 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Shuffield was hired by the defendant in January 2006 as an X-ray technician. She states she severely beaten in an incident not related to work and had to be hospitalized on Oct. 8, 2010. Due to the trauma, she was substantially limited in several major life activities, according to the complaint.

On Oct. 27, 2010, she notified her employer that she was going to require surgery. The surgery occurred on Nov. 1 and involved the placement of metal plates in her face.

After Shuffield notified her employer about the surgery, she was terminated from employment effective on Oct. 29, 2010. She reapplied for work with the defendant on Jan. 21 but claims the defendant refused to re-hire her.

The defendant is accused of disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for front pay, lost income and benefits, back wages, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to professional standing, injury to character and reputation, injury to credit standing, job search expenses, lost earning capacity, pecuniary losses, punitive damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Shuffield is represented by Jonathan Sandstrom Hill of Ross Law Group in Austin.

A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 4:11-cv-00571

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