Man accuses Woodlands company of sexual harassment, wrongful termination

By Andrea Dearden | Sep 10, 2014

A former employee of a Woodlands company alleges he was sexually harassed at work and then fired for reporting it. 

Christopher Ward filed a complaint against Elliott Turbocharger Group Inc., Tommy Montier and Dan Husky on July 29 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. 

Ward says he started working as a foreman for Elliot Group in October or November 2012. He says he was first exposed to workplace discrimination April 16, 2013, when he heard a group of men near him say "look at that faggot." Ward says he told the men he didn't want to hear that comment again but claims they continued to make similar offensive statements.  According to the complaint, Ward reported the incident to Montier the following day who said he would talk to the men. On April 21 Ward says he found the word "fag" scratched into the driver's side door of his work truck. During a staff meeting later that afternoon Ward says employees were told sexual harassment would not be tolerated. 

Ward says fellow employees continued to call him derogatory names. On April 24, Ward says the harassment turned physical when Huskey allegedly walked up behind Ward and "jammed his thumb up Ward's rear end and yelled 'bean dip'." Ward says he went to Montier's office and immediately reported the incident. He says Montier ordered him out and fired him 45 minutes later.

Ward contends Elliot Group is liable for sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. He accuses Huskey and Montier of "extreme and outrageous" conduct intended to inflict severe emotional distress.  A fourth defendant, Kristopher Lewis, is described as a defendant in the narrative of the complaint and is accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress and battery. However, Lewis' name does not appear in the list of defendants on the complaint. 

Ward is asking for an unspecified amount of money to compensate for severe mental and emotional distress, loss of self-esteem and loss of wages. He also seeks punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs. 

Attorneys L. Clayton Burgess and Angela B. Obinet of Lafayette, La., represent Ward. 

The case number is Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case 14-2176 

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. 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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