HUNTINGTON -- An Upshur County man claims he suffered disability discrimination as an employee of Kokosing Construction Company.
Daniel Dawson was disabled in 1972 when he suffered a left arm amputation, but has worked continuously since then as an equipment operator. Kokosing had previously hired Dawson as an equipment operator in 2005 for a project in Parkersburg and hired him again on May 22, 2007. Dawson immediately informed them of his disability, which they had previously accommodated, and again, they accommodated him by allowing him to operate a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer. However, when Dawson arrived on the jobsite the next day, he was informed that he was assigned to operate a compactor, and that a non-disabled employee was already assigned to bulldozer.
Dawson immediately informed the supervisor that he would be unable to operate the compactor safely and asked that they provide reasonable accommodations for his disability. The supervisor refused to discuss any kind of accommodations and dismissed Dawson.
Dawson's suit was filed April 16 by Cameron McKinney, David Grubb, and Kristina Whiteaker of the Charleston firm The Grubb Law Group.
In it, he sought a trial by jury to award a declaratory judgment that the acts of Kokosing were in violation of West Virginia Human Rights Act, lost wages, reinstatement or front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, out of pocket losses, court costs, and attorney's fees.
Dawson and his attorneys filed the complaint in Putnam Circuit Court. Now, Kokosing is seeking a removal to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Filed by Brian Yost of the Charleston Holroyd & Yost, the removal is being sought by Kokosing because the amount Dawson is seeking amounts to more than $75,000 and also because it is an Ohio corporation.