MORGANTOWN -- A Fairmont man claims three corporations and a Monongalia County man wrongfully discharged him after he suffered a workplace accident.

Kenneth W. Currey claims Crompton Corporation of Delaware, Crompton Manufacturing Corporation Inc. of New Jersey, Chemtura Corporation of Delaware and Kieffer Hess, his supervisor, discriminated against him because he filed for Worker's Compensation and because of his age.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 28, says the 52-year-old Currey has worked for the company since March 1989 despite numerous mergers. At some point after 1989, Crompton Corporation became Crompton Manufacturing Corporation Inc. In March of 2005, it became Chemtura Corporation and began installing poor automation systems to cut costs, he claims in the suit.

Currey claims these systems created an unsafe work environment. Currey argued several times with Hess about other safety issues in the plant.

The suit says that on March 21, 2005, Currey was injured when a blow pot shifted as it was being elevated. Currey suffered a temporary, but total, disability. Because his injuries were so severe, he filed for Worker's Compensation.

When he returned to his job after a few months, Hess asked him for a "guarantee" that he would not be injured again. When Currey responded with an unsure no, Hess terminated his employment despite Currey's flawless work performance record, the suit says.

Drew M. Capuder, Currey's lawyer, believes this guarantee only would be asked of an older employee. Therefore, Currey is seeking punitive damages for severe emotional distress, his wrongful discharge under the West Virginia Human Rights Act of 1967, disability discrimination under the Worker's Compensation Discrimination Statue, and age discrimination.

He is also seeking damages for his substantial past, present, and future loss of income and benefits, attorney's fees and court costs. He also is pushing for a trial by jury and reinstatement to his position of production technician if it's deemed appropriate.

Monongalia County Circuit Court case number: 05-C-762

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