Amputee accuses company of discrimination

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 11, 2015

WINFIELD — A Kanawha County man filed suit against a Putnam County industrial firm, alleging human rights violation in a 2013 incident.

Donald L. Woods of Nitro brought a lawsuit against Jefferds Corp. Feb. 18 in Putnam Circuit Court, claiming protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Following a 2003 motorcycle accident, in which he lost part of his left leg, the plaintiff underwent vocational rehabilitation in seeking employment.

On Sept. 18, 2013, Woods applied for a mechanic position with Jefferds. He was contacted and interviewed but turned down for the position based on a defendant-ordered physician’s exam. According to the doctor’s statement, the plaintiff was considered unable to climb ladders and perform other work duties due to his disability.

The suit states that an employer is required to furnish reasonable accommodations to allow disabled employees to perform their tasks; and that refusing to hire Woods is an act of disability discrimination.

Alleging violation of state employment law, loss of future and back pay, and emotional distress, the plaintiff seeks: compensatory damages; punitive damages; and attorneys’ fees and costs. He is represented in the case by attorney Edward Atkins of John R. Mitchell Law Office of Charleston.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 15-C-34

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