NEW CUMBERLAND – An Ohio couple is suing Metsch Refractories over claims of wrongful termination and deprivation of necessary medical benefits.

Chris Aikens and Robin Aikens filed a suit in Hancock Circuit Court against Metsch Refractories Inc. on Dec. 30, citing the defendant violated the West Virginia Humans Right Act upon termination of Chris Aikens’ employment.

According to the complaint, Chris Aikens had been an employee of the defendant from June 2011 until his termination in June 2014. He claims to have been diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, or Wegener's disease, in July 2012, and notified his employer of his disease at the time. In May 2013, the plaintiff took leave from employment for a fracture in his foot related to Wegener’s disease and was granted benefits from the Family and Medical Leave Act.

In July 2013, Chris Aikens claims his health continued to deteriorate and he was admitted to a local hospital before being transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he remained until Nov. 8, 2013, the complaint states. Throughout the hospitalization, the plaintiff alleges to have received demand of hospital documentation and a return to work date from the defendant. At the time of his discharge from the hospital, Aikens was required to undergo dialysis treatment every 48 hours, which he claims kept him from returning to work.

Chris Aikens was terminated from his job by the defendant on June 13, 2014. Shortly after termination, he underwent a medical procedure to enable him to return to work and no longer required dialysis at a treatment facility during the day. According to the claim, the plaintiff’s disease is only curable with a kidney transplant, for which he is eligible but cannot afford due to his termination.

The plaintiffs seek compensation including lost wages and benefits, back/front pay, damages for indignity, prejudgment interest and litigation fees. They are represented by William R. Kiefer and Michael G. Simon of Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon of Weirton. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ronald E. Wilson.

Hancock Circuit Court Case number 15-C-138

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Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon

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