A Pennsylvania company that was sued by one of its former employees for alleged discrimination resulting in termination has asked that the federal case be dismissed.
Brand Scaffold Rental and Erection of Pittsburgh claim the suit James Goddard filed in Marshall Circuit Court should be dismissed because his termination did not violate any public policies in West Virginia, according to the answer to a complaint filed Sept. 5 in federal court.
Goddard filed suit against the company earlier this year, claiming he was fired after he collected worker's compensation for a work-related injury.
Goddard worked for the company at Mitchell Power Plant in Moundsville, according to the complaint.
He damaged his left shoulder Aug. 23, 2006, while at work and informed his supervisor of the injury the same day, the suit states.
Goddard alleges he filed a worker's compensation claim Sept. 11, 2006, and received temporary total disability benefits from Sept. 12 until Sept. 29, 2006.
Goddard's employment with Brand Scaffold Rental and Erection was terminated Sept. 13, and he has not been reinstated or rehired since, according to the complaint.
Instead, the company has hired other carpenters to do work that Goddard could have performed, the suit states.
"The plaintiff's filing of a workers' compensation claim was a significant factor in the defendant's decision to terminate, not reinstate and not rehire the plaintiff," the suit states.
In the four-count suit, Goddard is seeking damages to award him for his pain and suffering, past and future lost wages, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation and inconvenience.
Goddard was paid $21.16 per hour when he was terminated. That wage would have increased to $21.66 beginning Oct. 1, 2006, and to $22.66 starting Dec. 1, 2007.
He is also seeking attorney's fee, costs and unspecified liquidated and punitive damages.
But Brand claims the suit should be dismissed because Goddard failed to state a claim in his suit where the Court could grant relief.
The company also claims Goddard's suit is barred because of the six-month statute of limitations.
Goddard was terminated for legitimate, non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory reasons and would have been fired regardless of his injury, the answer to the complaint states.
In addition, Goddard had no disability as defined by the West Virginia Human Rights Act, the company contends.
David L. Delk, Jr., of Bachmann, Hess, Bachmann & Garden in Wheeling and Thomas O. McCarthy and Robert D. Younger of McMahon Berger in St. Louis are representing Brand Scaffold Rental and Erection.
Frank X. Duff and Sandra K. Law of Schrader Byrd & Companion in Wheeling are representing Goddard.