Bipolar man says he was wrongfully fired

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 23, 2013

HUNTINGTON – A man is suing LB Foster Rail Technologies, Inc., after he claims his employment was wrongfully terminated because of his illness.

Portec Rail Products, Inc., Brian Kelly and any other successor corporations that may exist were also named as defendants in the suit.

Robert Rowsey was employed by the defendants for approximately 11 years, according to a complaint filed Jan. 14 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Rowsey claims approximately seven or eight years ago he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and between 2009 and 2010 he began to suffer from issues as a result of his medication.

As a result, Rowsey applied for and received leave pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act, according to the suit.

Rowsey claims in late 2010, Portec merged with LB and as a result of the merger, LB “re-hired” all the employees of Portec.

LB terminated Rowsey’s employment effective Jan. 14, 2011, stating that it was unable to offer him a continuing position, according to the suit.

Rowsey claims during his leave pursuant to FMLA, the defendants fabricated a plan to terminate his employment and preventing his return to work.

Despite the defendants’ actual knowledge of Rowsey’s illness, they intentionally and/or maliciously violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act by terminating Rowsey’s employment, according to the suit.

Rowsey claims his employment was wrongly terminated on Jan. 14, 2011, due to his Bipolar Disorder.

Rowsey is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre-judgment interest. He is being represented by Abraham J. Saad and J. Patrick L. Stephens.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-28

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