IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
v. Case No.
CITY OF PALM BAY,
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff, JACK HOWLEY, by and through his undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, CITY OF PALM BAY, and alleges the following:
1. This is an action for breach of contract in which Plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $15,000.00.
2. The breach of contract occurred in Brevard County, Florida.
3. Plaintiff was a resident of Brevard County, Florida when the breach of contract alleged in this complaint occurred and Plaintiff is presently a resident of Dallas, Texas.
4. Defendant is a local municipality in Brevard County, Florida.
5. Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant as City Manager.
6. Plaintiff was separated from his employment with the Defendant pursuant to a contractual agreement entitled, “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE” effective May 20, 1999, (Exhibit “A”).
7. The, attached “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE” (Exhibit “A”) sets forth the entire agreement between the Plaintiff and the Defendant concerning the dissolution of their employment relationship.
8. Plaintiff was covered by disability insurance during his tenure as City Manager for Defendant. Prior to executing the “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE”, (Exhibit “A”) Plaintiff had received short-term disability benefits as a result of medical conditions and treatments, which prevented him from working in his capacity as City Manager.
9. Plaintiff submitted an application for long-term disability benefits during the year 1999 as provided for by the disability insurance policy.
10. Paragraph 2(c) of the, “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE”, (Exhibit “A”) states that, “The City [Defendant] shall not interfere with or otherwise oppose Howley’s [Plaintiff] right or entitlement to receive any other insurance or benefits to which he may be entitled.”
11. Paragraph 7 of the, “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE”, (Exhibit “A”) states that, “The City [Defendant] agrees not to disparage, or make remarks, comments or statements about Howley’s [Plaintiff] medical condition while employed by the City of Palm Bay.”
12. On or about September 2000, Defendant received a request from the disability insurance carrier to perform “Job Shadowing” of the position of City Manager in connection with Plaintiff’s claim for benefits. “Job Shadowing” is a procedure utilized by the long-term disability insurance carrier to learn about the specific duties and activities required of any given position. “Job Shadowing” is utilized by the long-term disability insurance carrier to make determinations regarding claims.
13. On or about, October 18, 2000, the Defendant resisted and/or refused the disability insurance carrier’s request to “Job Shadow” the position of City Manager. The Defendant’s refusal to cooperate with the long-term disability insurance carrier’s request to “Job Shadow” the City Manager’s position interfered with Plaintiff’s right to receive long-term disability benefits.
14. In the process of resisting and/or refusing to allow the long-term disability insurance carrier’s request to “Job Shadow” the City Manager’s position, Defendant made disparaging remarks, comments and statements about Plaintiff to the disability insurance carrier which ultimately denied Plaintiff benefits. These disparaging remarks further interfered with Plaintiff’s right to receive long-term disability benefits.
15. During the year 2000, the Defendant unilaterally elected to raise Plaintiff’s Cobra health insurance rates to 150% of the normal rate charged to City employee’s seeking Cobra health insurance benefits. Upon information and belief, it was not the Defendant’s practice or policy to charge similarly situated employees this same percentage amount. Further, this increase in Cobra premiums resulted in an increase of $2,800.00 in revenue to the Defendant which was self-insured. This increase was unconscionable and evidences bad faith on the part of the Defendant.
16. Plaintiff has performed all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
17. The Defendant’s actions described herein constitute a breach of Plaintiff’s, “SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE” of May 20, 1999, (Exhibit “A”).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for compensatory and consequential damages against Defendant, together with interest and the costs of this action.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues triable by jury.
Dated this day of July, 2002.
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
WAYNE L. ALLEN & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681