Former employee says Brand Energy, others fired him because of injuries

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 1, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Brand Energy Services after he claims his employment was wrongfully terminated because of injuries he sustained while on the job.

Bayer Corporation and Scott Blankenship, a safety officer for Brand Energy Services, were also named as defendants in the suit

On Nov. 19, 2010, David McDermott was injured while walking up a set of stairs to the break room, according to a complaint filed Feb. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

McDermott claims he went to St. Mary's Medical Center to be treated for his injuries and was accompanied by Blankenship.

While receiving treatment, Dr. Allen Young told McDermott and Blankenship that McDermott had suffered a knee injury and that he should not do any climbing, extended walking or physical labor, according to the suit.

McDermott claims Blankenship informed Young that it was against Brand policy to accept doctor's orders with physical working restrictions on a patient and demanded the physician send him back to work with no restrictions, to which Young complied.

Upon returning to work, McDermott was ordered to sit in an empty room by himself and not perform any work for the duration of each working day, according to the suit.

McDermott claims on the fourth day of sitting in the empty room at the direction of the defendants, he was informed by letter that his employment had been terminated.

The defendants' discharge was motivated by Brand's "intent to discriminate against plaintiff due to his injury and on the basis of his being eligible to receive Workers' Compensation benefits," according to the suit.

McDermott claims the defendants violated various West Virginia laws by terminating his employment.

McDermott is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Toby J. Buel Jr.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-267

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