Pratt named in discrimination suit

By Lawrence Smith | Sep 30, 2010

CHARLESTON -– An eastern Kanawha County municipality is accused of improperly firing one of its employees earlier this year.

The town of Pratt is named in an age, and disability discrimination suit filed by Gary Fernatt. In his complaint, complaint, 50, a Hansford resident, alleges the town terminated him while he was recuperating from an on-the-job injury, and hired a younger replacement.

According to his suit, Ruge was a "laborer employee" with the town. The suit is unclear when he was first hired or specifies a job description.

Nevertheless, Fernatt maintains he "consistently performed his duties in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations of his employer."

On a date and for a reason not specified, Fernatt alleges he was injured on the job. While off from work, the town fired him on June 9.

In his suit, Fernatt alleges the town replaced him "with a substantially younger employee." Also, he alleges the town fired him as a result of his disability although he does not specify what it is.

Regardless, Fernatt alleges the town violated the state Human Rights Act in terminating him due to his age and disability. In addition to lost wages and benefits, Fernatt says he's suffered "embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience" as a result of the termination.

Fernatt seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by Charleston attorney D. Adrian Hoosier.

The case is assigned to Judge Carrie Webster

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 10-C-1709

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