Another Successful Defense Against Retaliatory Discharge Claim
An Etowah Count Jury returned a defense verdict in a retaliatory discharge claim on September 30, 2009.
At trial, the evidence revealed that the employee was working for a lawn service company when he injured his left knee. According to the employer, the employee returned to work almost immediately with no medical restrictions. However, upon his return the employee was not completing jobs that were assigned to him and was having conflicts with other employees. As a result, the employer alleged it began to lose customers and terminated the employee. At the time of the termination, the employer stated that it was unaware of the status of the employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
According to the employee, he had returned to work at light duty and was undergoing physical therapy when the employer terminated him. At that point, the employee filed a lawsuit for workers’ compensation benefits and also claimed retaliatory discharge. The workers’ compensation claim was settled and the employer defended the retaliatory discharge claim stating that his termination was not the result of the workers’ compensation claim. Upon hearing the evidence and arguments, the jury returned a defense verdict.