Southeast Texas Record

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Discrimination suit against Ernst & Young dismissed

By David Yates | Jun 2, 2016

General court 07

A Houston man has dismissed a professional services firm from his discrimination lawsuit, which claimed the company fired him because of his age and medical history.

As previously reported, Christopher Cotter filed the complaint against London-based Ernst & Young on Aug. 5, 2014 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Court records show an agreed motion to dismiss with prejudice was filed March 13, 2015. On March 27 an agreed order of dismissal with prejudice was entered in the record.

In regards to the lawsuit, Cotter gave the following statement: “After working with his General Practioner, Otolaryngologist and Gastroenterologist over the last two years, Mr. Cotter has made a complete recovery concerning his ‘peptic inflammatory disease and labile hypertension.’ This has been accomplished through medication and therapy.

“Mr. Cotter was awarded a cash Settlement, by Ernst and Young, during the case Arbitration process in January, 2015.”

Case background

According to the lawsuit, Cotter worked for Ernst & Young as an SAP manager from March 2012 to August 2013. Cotter was 52 at the time and suffered from peptic inflammatory disease and labile hypertension, a condition that he says caused nausea and vomiting.

The man's doctors "instructed him to avoid stress and not to sit in a confined space for longer than four hours," the lawsuit reads.

Cotter says the defendant knew about his disabilities because he submitted medical documentation and requested he be allowed to fly business class on a work trip to China. Cotter says Ernst & Young denied the request "without any reason and sent a younger, less experienced, non-disabled employee" instead.

According to the complaint, Cotter filed a formal complaint for discrimination and was told by company's HR department that he would be allowed to fly business class on future flights. Cotter says he was fired by Ernst & Young a short time later. He contends his job was terminated in retaliation for the discrimination complaint.

Cotter claims his medical condition never affected his attendance or level of performance at Ernst & Young.

He accused the company of disability discrimination, age discrimination, retaliation and violations of the Texas Labor Code.

He was seeking to be awarded an unspecified amount of money for past and future wages, lost benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages and liquidated damages along with court costs.

Attorney Alfonso Kennard Jr. of Kennard Law in Houston represented Cotter.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case 4:14-cv-02241

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