Lawsuit: Texas City terminated firefighter 'without just cause'

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 1, 2013, 7:24pm

GALVESTON - A Harris County man has filed suit against the city of Texas City over what he asserts is an unlawful discharge, recent court documents say. 

In a lawsuit filed March 20 in Galveston County District Court, Jamil Saifi shows Texas City allegedly committed a breach of contract when it terminated him from its fire department in December 2011.

The defendant hired Saifi on Dec. 17, 2007, and he subsequently entered into a conditions of employment agreement which stated that he must pass a paramedic certification-related placement examination before becoming a Texas City firefighter.

Though he did not pass any test prior to starting his employment, the original petition states, Texas City Fire Chief Joseph A. Gorman ordered the plaintiff to commence paramedic training in April 2010.

Saifi satisfactorily completed the training, but proved unsuccessful with the national registry numerous times.

The suit argues the respondent dismissed the complainant "without just cause" since the agreement did not apply to him, insisting "reasonable efforts to resolve this illegal act have been rejected or ignored."

"Since the plaintiff had not passed the prerequisite placement test specific to paramedicine and/or paramedic certification before becoming a Texas City firefighter, he could not be required to pass the national registry as a condition of his employment," it says.

"Therefore, the city has breached the agreement between the plaintiff and the city by requiring passage of the national registry for paramedic."

Saifi adds the city admitted that his discharge "was not for any disciplinary purpose" hence "just cause does not exist to support his termination."

Consequently, he seeks a declaratory judgment and unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney Richard C. Mumey of The Mumey Law Firm PLLC in Houston is representing Saifi, and Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-436

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