Shortly after Wal-Mart fired her son for offensive body odor, a Beaumont mom sued the mega-retailer, claiming her son's hygiene was just an excuse.

On behalf of her mentally disabled son, Deborah Gernentz filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores on Feb.24 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court documents show that Jeremy Gernetz was working at the Port Arthur Wal-Mart full-time when he injured his hand Dec. 15.

Needing surgery to repair his hand, Jeremy filed for worker's compensation. He returned to work following the surgery and was fired a few days later on Dec. 28.

"The reason given for the termination was that complaints had allegedly been received concerning Jeremy's body odor and hygiene," the suit states.

"Plaintiff alleges that was but a pretense ... and the real reason for the termination was that Jeremy sustained a reportable on-the-job injury and subsequently filed a workers' compensation claim."
Deborah is suing for economic and punitive damages.

She is represented by Tommy Yeates, attorney for the Moore, Landrey law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D186-126

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