CHARLESTON – A man is suing Telgian Corporation after he claims he was discriminated against due to his workers’ compensation claim.
John R. Grabowski was employed by Telgian as a field inspector from May 3, 2014, until March 21, 2016, according to a complaint filed Oct. 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court and removed to federal court on Dec. 29.
Grabowski claims at the time of his termination, he was off work due to a workplace injury for which he received workers’ compensation benefits.
On July 27, 2015, Grabowski sustained the workplace injury while lifting his tools out of his vehicle in preparation for performing his duties as a field inspector and immediately reported the injury to his supervisor and sought medical treatment at an urgent care local to where he was injured, according to the suit.
Grabowski claims Telgian was aware on the date of his injury that he sought medical treatment for the injury, as it located the nearest clinic where he could receive treatment.
Upon his return home, Grabowski sought additional treatment at Jefferson Urgent Care in Charles Town on July 28, 2015, according to the suit.
Grabowski claims on Aug. 3, 2015, he filed a workers’ compensation claim pursuant to the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and, four days later, his treating physician advised him to stay off work pending workup and treatment of back pain secondary to the workplace injury that was the subject of his workers’ compensation claim.
The plaintiff subsequently continued to receive treatment for his workplace injury and, on Sept. 30, 2015, his treating physician advised that he would need to be off work indefinitely pending further evaluation of his injury and referral to a spinal specialist, according to the suit.
Grabowski claims Telgian pressured him to return to work and delayed and/or caused to be delayed the processing of workers’ compensation claim documents, causing Grabowski to go for long periods of time without medical treatment and/or workers’ compensation payments.
Ultimately, Grabowski’s claim was ruled compensable and he received temporary total disability benefits in November 2015, according to the suit.
Grabowski kept Telgian informed regarding his medical status and treatment through regular phone calls and emails during the entire time period that he was required to be off work due to his temporary disability.
On March 21, 2016, the defendant terminated Grabowski’s employment while he was still off work due to temporary disability, according to the suit.
Grabowski claims the defendant violated the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
Grabowski is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Michael P. Addair and Todd S. Bailess of Bailess Smith.
Telgian is represented by Joseph U. Leonoro of Steptoe & Johnson.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:17-cv-04633