***Woman claims former employer violated Americans with Disabilities Act

Kelly Holleran Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm


A Beaumont woman has filed suit against her former employer, alleging she was wrongly terminated after her company found her unfit for work.

Luciana Aubry claims she was working as an Alky 2 Process Operator at defendant Total Petrochemicals and Refining in Dallas County. During her career at the company, Aubry witnessed massive amounts of turnarounds, which impacted her mental health, according to the complaint filed March 18 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the stress she experienced, Aubry was hospitalized in 2006 and began to see a psychiatrist, the suit states.

For three years, Aubry worked “virtually episode free” until a turnaround occurred in 2009, the complaint says. During this turnaround, which occurs when there are up to three times the amount of employees and contractors on the property, Aubry claims she would occasionally black out when the number of people in the room greatly increased.

Following the 2009 turnaround, Aubry worked with hardly any episodes until another turnaround in 2011. Because of stress-related symptoms stemming from her home life, Aubry’s psychiatrist advised her to remain off work for an extended period of time, according to the complaint.

By Nov. 18, Aubry had returned to work and was loading railroad cars when she was summoned to a meeting with her supervisors and human resource employees. At the gathering, her superiors told Aubry she was not acting right and that they were concerned about her, the suit states. They ended up driving Aubry home and placing her on short-term disability, the complaint says.

Afterwards, a company doctor examined Aubry and told her she could not return to work, even though her treating physician had told her differently, according to the complaint. Aubry claims she was terminated due to her alleged inability to work.

“Defendant discriminated against plaintiff in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the suit states.

Because of her job loss, Aubry lost income, suffered humiliation and embarrassment and sustained damages to her credibility, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Aubry seeks actual damages, plus back and front pay, general damages, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate, punitive damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Gregg M. Rosenberg of Rosenberg and Sprovach in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A194-166.

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