HUNTINGTON – A former employee is suing Jim's Steak & Spaghetti House and its general manager for discriminating against her.

In June 2007, Sherry Dement was hired by Jim's and, as part of her employment, was required to travel up and down a narrow stairwell in the restaurant that did not have a handrail and did not comply with safety regulations and/or safety standards, according to a complaint filed Feb. 27 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Dement claims shortly after beginning her employment, she slipped and fell while walking down the stairwell, which caused her injury to her tailbone.

In 2010, Dement once again slipped and fell while walking down the stairwell and suffered a broken foot, according to the suit.

Dement claims on April 9, 2013, she was walking on the stairwell and again slipped and fell.

This fall caused severe pain in her right arm and shoulder and she reported to the emergency department of St. Mary's Medical Center, where it was revealed she had a massive tear in her rotator cuff and additional injuries to her neck and spine, including a cervical sprain and radicultis, according to the suit.

Dement claims  she insisted that Jamina Tweel Carder, the general manager, report her fall and resulting injuries to the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Division.

When Dement was released to return to work, she was released under an express light-duty restriction, including restrictions on lifting, according to the suit.

Dement claims in response to the medical orders, Carder chastised her and questioned her need for further treatment and therapy.

Carder required Dement to work in violation of her work restrictions and further chastised her, according to the suit.

Dement claims her injuries did not adequately heal and her pain did not abate and she was ordered by her doctor to undergo shoulder surgery to repair her torn rotator cuff.

After receiving notice of her diagnosis, Carder told Dement in a phone conversation that she could "read between the lines. Jim's can go on without you," and terminated her employment.

Dement claims with the assistance of representatives of Workers' Compensation, she attempted to return to work and was refused the requested reasonable accommodation by the restaurant.

The defendants discriminated and retaliated against Dement, according to the suit.

Dement is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Sean W. Cook of Meyer Ford Glasser & Radman PLLC.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-143

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