Kelly Holleran May 29, 2014, 3:19pm

A deaf man says he lost his job due to his disability and his repeated requests for phone equipment that would be compatible with his hearing aids.

David Coltrane filed a lawsuit May 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division against Heartland Payment Systems. 

In his complaint, Coltrane, who is profoundly deaf, claims he began working with Heartland as a network operations engineer in Plano on Oct. 15, 2012. During his interview, Coltrane claims he informed his supervisor of his hearing disability. Specifically, Coltrane says he told his supervisor he would need a phone that had Bluetooth wireless capability that would work with his hearing aids, according to the complaint.

Although he was promised he would be provided with the equipment, Coltrane was not given access to it, the suit states. Repeatedly, Coltrane claims he requested the equipment from his supervisors. Eventually, he learned he would not be provided with it because it would require a system upgrade, the complaint says.

Although Coltrane was given a raise in March of 2013 for improved work performance, he was terminated from his job July 9, for allegedly failing to assign a ticket after he had created it. Coltrane contends the issue had actually been resolved internally.

Coltrane was instead terminated from his employment as NOC Engineer for the defendant after he had continued to repeatedly request technology be implemented to accommodate his profound deafness and hearing disability, the suit states.

Because of his termination, Coltrane suffered mental and physical pain and anguish, lost his income and benefits and incurred a diminished earning capacity, the complaint says.

He is seeking compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, attorneys’ fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

He is being represented by Dan A. Atkerson of Allen.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division case number 14-cv-327.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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