WINFIELD – A man is suing Hurricane Chevrolet after he claims it discriminated against him and refused to give him light duty work after he had surgery.
Elza B. Thomasson II, who suffered from gout, was employed by Hurricane Chevrolet for nearly 17 years and, on Aug. 6, while working, his knee went out, causing him to borrow a cane in order to stay and complete the rest of his shift, according to a complaint filed in Putnam Circuit Court.
Thomasson claims he sought treatment for the gout attack later that evening and the fluid was drawn from his knee and he was able to return to work on Aug. 8.
On Aug. 10, Thomasson had to call off work and sought further medical treatment because of further fluid buildup in his knee, according to the suit.
Two days later Thomasson underwent emergency surgery and was hospitalized for five days, according to the suit.
Thomasson claims on Sept. 26, his physician released him to return to work the following week on Oct. 3.
The plaintiff then gave the release to Cheryl Warner, the controller for the defendant, and let them known he would see them on Oct. 3, according to the suit.
Thomasson claims on Sept. 30 he was informed he was to come in at 9 a.m. on Oct. 3 for a conference call instead of his normal work time of 8 a.m.
When Thomasson reported to work on Oct. 3, he was told there was no light duty work available and that he had until Oct. 15 to return to work full duty without restrictions and was sent home, according to the suit.
Thomasson claims he was officially terminated on Oct. 18.
In addition to refusing to accommodate his light duty restrictions, Hurricane Chevrolet also refused to reinstate Thomasson or place him in a comparable position once he was released to return to work, according to the suit.
Thomasson claims he was terminated in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
Thomasson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Richard W. Walters of Shaffer & Shaffer.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Joseph K. Reeder.
Putnam Circuit Court case number: 17-C-65