Petrochem company responds to man's wrongful termination suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 30, 2012, 11:15am

Ineos headquarters in League City

GALVESTON - A company sued for discrimination in connection to a local Nigerian-American man's termination has provided its original answer.

Christopher N. Ofondu is suing Ineos USA LLC on allegations he was fired from his position as an environment engineer yet others in similar situations were retained.

Ofondu's original petition, entered April 13, says the company used "less exacting" criteria for others' evaluations as opposed to those used for his evaluations.

He explains that he attempted to comply with his superiors' orders, but they refused to interact with him. Ofundu was terminated Nov. 1, 2011.

In a six-page document filed May 11 before the Galveston County 10th District Court, the defendant first notes that it is incorrectly identified in the suit, stating its correct name is Ineos Olefins & Polymers USA, not Ineos USA LLC.

Ineos then says Ofundu failed to exhaust administrative remedies and failed to comply with its policies regarding discrimination complaints.

The defendant states that Ofondu "was discharged for failing to perform the duties and responsibilities commensurate with his position, and for failing to meet the bona fide performance expectations of his employer."

The suit further contends the plaintiff's claims are subject to the limitations on damages specified under applicable provisions of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

The response concludes with a counterpoint showing Ofondu failed to raise a prima facta case of discrimination as a matter of law.

McLeod, Alexander, Powel and Apffel PC is representing Ineos.

Case No. 12-cv-1025

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