Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 1, 2013, 1:01pm

SHERMAN - A bank senior vice president has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit claiming he was targeted for suffering from cancer and, ultimately, fired from his position.

Joseph Bongiovanni filed suit against BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., doing business as BBVA Compass, on Jan. 15 in Collin County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Bongiovanni began working for Compass Bank, BBVA Compass’s predecessor, in 2005 as senior vice president regional manager.  Bongiovanni is over 40 years of age and was disabled by the serious medical conditions of cancer, a stroke and a blood clot. Despite his disabilities, Bongiovanni states he was qualified for his position.

According to the lawsuit, after he notified his employer of his diagnosis of cancer, he was placed on a performance improvement plan.  He returned from Family and Medical Leave Act in May 2011 and claims he was treated differently. The defendant terminated Bongiovanni in February 2012 due to performance.

The defendant is accused of disability discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue an injunction and for an award of damages for reinstatement, promotion, back pay, front pay, court costs, punitive damages, compensatory damages for pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses, attorney’s fees and interest.

Bongiovanni is represented by Robert J. Wiley and Casey M. Ransom of Rob Wiley P.C. in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:13-cv-00175

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