Jury says bank wrongly fired disabled woman

By Cara Bailey | Aug 23, 2007

CHARLESTON - A disabled bank employee has been awarded more than $300,000 in back pay and damages after she filed a suit claiming she was unfairly fired.

A jury awarded Michelle Thompson, 53, the money after a trial before Kanawha Circuit Judge Charlie King. Thompson, who was a mortgage loan processor for United Bank, was fired in May 2004 and claims she was discriminated against, which violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Thompson suffers from osteoporosis, which caused her to need several surgeries, and she eventually was confined to a wheelchair. According to the suit, when Thompson needed additional surgeries, her supervisors fired her, claiming there were too many errors in her work.

According to her attorney, Mark A. Atkinson, Thompson had worked for United Bank for eight years, and it's predecessor for 15 years.

Thompson was awarded $66,176 in back pay and future earnings of $111,734. She was also awarded $75,000 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity.

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