Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 24, 2012, 5:27pm

MARSHALL - A mechanic has filed a lawsuit against Eastman Chemical claiming he was retaliated against, and terminated for requesting an accommodation for his medical disabilities.

Gary Gipson filed suit against Eastman Chemical Co. on Oct. 18 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Gipson worked for Eastman in Longview from Sept. 11, 1989, until Jan. 20, 2011, as a control system mechanic and refrigeration mechanic. In early 2009, the defendant informed Gipson that he was going to be transferred out of his current department to a different crew, which would require longer work hours in a more hectic and stressful work environment, and around more noise.

According to the lawsuit, Gipson contacted the Human Resources Department and explained that he had various medical disabilities that would prevent him from working at this new assignment and requested that he stay at the other department.

Gipson states he was told that he could not transfer to any other assignment as there were no openings available. Eastman Chemical is accused of making no efforts to accommodate or investigate Gipson’s situation.

Gipson was terminated in January 2011 and alleges that he was terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages, mental pain, exemplary damages, liquidated damages, punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Gipson is represented by Todd Slobin and Ricardo J. Prieto of Shellist Lazarz Slobin in Houston. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00671

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