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Dickinson man alleges BP fired him for filing worker's comp

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Dec 12, 2012

GALVESTON - Claiming BP Products North America Inc. terminated him because he filed for workers' compensation for his back injury, Dickinson local Norman G. Trainer Jr. pursues legal action.

Court documents filed Dec. 12 in Galveston County District Court allege that after he was injured in 1999, Trainer was subjected to discriminatory behavior at BP before he was terminated in late 2011.

Trainer began his employment at BP's Texas City refinery on May 8, 1989, and he was a member of the United Steel Workers Union 13-1.

He submitted his first workers' comp claim in 1999, but discovered "sometime after 2000" that the company had made a mistake on the paperwork. Instead of a back injury, the defendant wrote that Trainer had sustained a neck injury, he alleges.

A request for correction was unsuccessful as BP "began treating him differently than other employees," the suit states.

According to the original petition, Trainer's supervisor subjected him to harassment and ordered him to submit to "very" physical tests which forced the plaintiff to violate his doctor's restrictions.

The suit further shows a human resources investigation determined the plaintiff's allegations against the supervisor were true, but the poor treatment progressed.

Trainer adds a delay on a decision whether he could receive his worker's compensation benefits negatively affected his chances of getting necessary treatment. He alleges that in November 2011 BP prevented him from returning to work if he required any reasonable accommodations.

Rather than given the opportunity to resign or retire, Trainer was dismissed, the suit says.

He asserts BP let him go because of "his disability, age and prior complaints about age and disability discrimination as well as his initiation of a claim under the Workers' Compensation Act."

Consequently, Trainer seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Gregg M. Rosenberg with Rosenberg & Sprovach in Houston is representing the plaintiff.  Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-CV-3085

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