John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 10, 2013, 1:27pm

HOUSTON - BP formally denies it terminated an employee for refusing to engage in racial discrimination against non-white workers, recent court papers say.

The petrochemical company filed an original answer into Tommy Danysh's November 2012 federal lawsuit on May 2.

Danysh, 54, sued BP on grounds it treated him less favorably after it learned he supported and befriended minorities.

According to the suit, the plaintiff was subjected to a hostile work environment that continued throughout his employment as a utility operator and shift supervisor with co-workers and supervisors referring to blacks as “n******” and other racial slurs.

Danysh, who is white, argues BP encouraged him to discriminate against minorities, but his resistance prompted the company to ostracize, blackball and harass him, stating he chose to maintain friendships with his non-white colleagues.

The original petition additionally alleges the respondent mistreated him because he “was appropriately vocal about safety compromises and situations" as well as subjected him to its apparent habit of “setting up older workers on a doomed path of failure and ultimate dismissal due to their age.”

Meanwhile, BP's rebuttal says Danysh mistakenly identified it as "BP Products, North America."

The six-page response insists that "any actions taken were for legitimate, non-discriminatory business reasons, and did not proximately cause any damage to the plaintiff."

"The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," it says.

Attorney Monica F. Oathout of Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout LLP in Houston is representing the defendant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3377

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