Landry's seeks to abate wrongful termination suit, wants arbitration

By David Yates | Aug 25, 2015

A popular restaurant chain is seeking to abate a wrongful termination claim and force the parties into arbitration.

Area resident Joseph D. Hoffman filed against Landry’s Inc. (Saltgrass of Beaumont) in Jefferson County District Court on April 9, claiming retaliatory action for a worker’s compensation benefit claim filed in April 2014.

Court records show Landry’s filed its plea in abatement on June 25, stating that the cause of action should be abated due to its right of arbitration as set out in the employment agreement between the parties.

No rulings on the plea are on file as of Aug. 24.

Hoffman began work for Landry’s Saltgrass restaurant on or about May 1, 2012 as a server. When he sustained a work-related injury on April 23, 2014, Hoffman followed protocol by reporting his injury, treating it onsite, and finishing his shift, the suit states.

According to the grievance, Hoffman filed for and received worker’s compensation benefits, returning to work uneventfully.

The complaint alleges that Hoffman’s supervisor terminated him on or about Oct. 31, 2014, allegedly due to customer complaints.

The plaintiff maintains that he had a good work record. Contending that his supervisor’s reason was pre-textual; and that he was fired in violation of employment law and in reprisal for filing a worker’s compensation request, Hoffman claims wrongful termination and retaliation.

Citing suffering, lost wages, emotional pain, loss of enjoyment of life and inconvenience, the plaintiff seeks: exemplary and compensatory damages; back pay, front pay and reinstatement; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs.

Hoffman is represented by Melody Chappell of Wells, Peyton, Greenberg & Hunt in Beaumont.

Landry’s is represented by Mehaffy Webber attorney M.C. Carrington.

Jefferson County District Court case No. A-197020

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