Comfort Inn wrongful termination suit settled

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 13, 2013

CHARLESTON - A lawsuit against Comfort Inn by a former employee alleging wrongful termination was settled and dismissed from Kanawha Circuit Court earlier this year.

Hi-Lad is doing business as Comfort Inn.

On Jan. 4, an agreed order of dismissal was filed in Kanawha Circuit Court. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.

On May 16, 2012, a letter was filed, stating that on May 9, 2012, Scott H. Kaminski of Balgo & Kaminski LC attempted to mediate the complaint.

"On May 9, 2012, I mediated the above matter," Kaminski's letter states. "The parties negotiated in good faith, however, the case did not settle."

In the agreed order of dismissal, the parties finally came to an agreement and compromised and settled out of court.

On May 8, 2011, Sheila Smith was seriously and permanently injured when she fell in one of the bathrooms in a guest room while performing her duties as a housekeeper for the defendant, according to a complaint filed Aug. 19, 2011, in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Smith claimed the defendant terminated her employment due to her sustaining a compensable injury and receiving or eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits, in violation of West Virginia code.

The defendant discriminated against Smith for her receipt of or attempt to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, according to the suit.

Smith claimed the defendant’s termination of her employment was in retaliation for attempting to file the workers’ compensation claim, which constitutes a violation of West Virginia public policy.

As a result of the defendant’s actions, Smith suffered substantial damages, according to the suit.

Smith was seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She was represented by Lia DiTrapano Fairless of DiTrapano Law Firm PC.

The defendant was represented by Michelle Roman Fox of Martin & Seibert LC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-1427

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