WAYNE – A cook is suing the Wayne County Board of Education after she claims it discriminated against her and caused her to become injured.
Marsha Fay Siegle has worked as a cook for the Wayne County Board of Education since 2001. In 2007, she had a quadruple bypass surgery that resulted in having her sternum wired, according to a complaint filed Oct. 2 in Wayne Circuit Court.
Siegle claims she returned to work in January 2009 with a light duty restriction prohibiting her from lifting more than 10 pounds, twisting and bending.
The superintendent, Wilt Sammons, and the principal, Bambi Cyrus, initially accommodated the restrictions and in October 2012, Siegle requested re-approval for light duty work, which was granted, according to the suit.
Siegle claims despite the approval, the defendant failed to accommodate the light duty restrictions.
Sometime in late October 2012, the defendant forced Siegle to lift food cases, mixing bowls and heavy frozen foods weighing in excess of 10 pounds, according to the suit. The cases weighed between 45 and 50 pounds.
Siegle claims the defendant told her that she had to lift the heavy cases and food or apply for disability.
Siegle called the superintendent every day following her having been forced to lift the heavy food and cases and notified the defendant that the lifting was aggravating her health condition.
She claims following the heavy lifting, she experienced sharp pains in her chest, especially when she moved, and consulted her doctors, who initially could not pinpoint the cause.
Shortly after experiencing chest pains, Siegle requested workers' compensation forms from the defendant and despite the requests, she was not provided with them, according to the suit.
In July 2013, Siegle claims her physicians determined the wires in her sternum were broken because of the heavy lifting and in August 2013 she was given a release from work by her physicians, who advised her that returning would result in her breaking more wires in her sternum.
Siegle claims the defendant discriminated against her because of her disability and age and violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
The defendant also negligently interfered and discriminated against Siegle in her attempt to receive workers' compensation benefits, according to the suit.
Siegle is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.
She is being represented by Hoyt Glazer, Ben Sheridan and Mitchell L. Klein of Klein, Sheridan & Glazer LC.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt.
Wayne Circuit Court case number: 14-C-200