Comfortex Corporation – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Florida Civil Rights Act.

Comfortex Corporation – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Florida Civil Rights Act.

Comfortex Corporation caseIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

RENITA L. LILES,

Plaintiff,

v. CASE NO.

COMFORTEX CORPORATION,

Defendant.
___________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff, RENITA L. LILES, by and through her undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, and alleges the following:
1. This action is brought to obtain relief for discrimination committed by Defendant against Plaintiff on the basis of Plaintiff’s disability and handicap.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of interest, costs and attorney fees.
3. The unlawful practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
4. Plaintiff resided in Brevard County, Florida at all times material hereto.
5. Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, is a Delaware corporation, doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed 15 or more persons and was engaged in an industry affecting commerce.
6. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, on or about November 1995 and was discharged by Defendant on or about April 12, 2002.
7. At all times, Plaintiff performed all duties assigned to her in a professionally competent manner, faithfully followed all reasonable instructions given to her by her supervisors, and abided by all the rules and regulations of Defendant.
8. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer grave and severe damage to her financial welfare, and her employment prospects, by reason of Defendant’s discriminatory actions against Plaintiff.
9. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendant’s actions.
10. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorneys and agreed to pay them a reasonable fee.
11. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
12. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.

COUNT I
13. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 12 as if set forth in full herein.
14. Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on June 21, 2002, (EEOC), File Number 150 A2 02911. A copy of Plaintiff’s EEOC charge is attached and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A”.
15. Plaintiff has been issued a Dismissal and Notice of Rights document, attached as Exhibit “B”, by the EEOC and less than ninety (90) days have expired since Plaintiff’s receipt of said notice.
16. Plaintiff had been seriously injured in an auto accident and had a 6% disability rating at the time she was hired by Defendant COMFORTEX CORPORATION.
17. In spite of her disability/handicap, Plaintiff was able to perform all of
the essential functions of her position with Defendant, with or without accommodation.
18. From approximately July 2001 to December 2001 Plaintiff was gradually transferred from a position where she spent most of her time sitting down doing paperwork to a position where she was required to stand most of the day.
19. Plaintiff asked to return to her previous position where she worked sitting at a desk to accommodate her back injury, which was causing her pain.
20. Plaintiff was informed that her request to work sitting down to alleviate the pain from her back injury would not be accommodated unless she was on light duty restrictions due to an on the job injury.
21. Plaintiff was forced to take medical leave by Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, on or about January 2, 2002.
22. On or about April 12, 2002 Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, discharged Plaintiff.
23. In terminating Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 1201, et seq., which makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or otherwise to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability, with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s disability.
24. Plaintiff had: (a) one or more disabilities or handicaps, i.e. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited one or more of the major life activities of Plaintiff; (b) a record of such an impairment; or (c) was regarded as having such an impairment.
25. Plaintiff’s termination of employment was motivated by the intent of Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, to discriminate against Plaintiff on the basis of her handicap and disability.
26. The Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her disability.
27. In terminating Plaintiff, Defendant engaged in a discriminatory practice with malice and reckless indifference to the statutorily protected rights of Plaintiff.
28. Proximately and directly as a result of Defendant discriminating against Plaintiff on account of her disability, Plaintiff has suffered damages consisting of severe emotional distress, loss of salary and other compensation.
29. The conduct of Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION, complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for her back pay, including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which she would be entitled, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary loss.
C. Front pay.
D. Reinstatement
E. Punitive Damages.
F. An award of reasonable attorney fees and all costs incurred herein.
G. Such other damages and relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT II
30. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 12, and Paragraphs 16 through 29 of this Complaint as if set forth in full herein.
31. Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination on June 21, 2002 with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. More than one hundred eighty days (180 ) days have expired since the filing of said complaint and the Florida Commission on Human Relations has not entered a determination on Plaintiff’s charge. A copy is attached as Exhibit “C” and incorporated herein.
32. The conduct of Defendant, COMFORTEX CORPORATION complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.
33. This action is brought to secure to Plaintiff the benefits of the Florida Civil Rights Act, Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against any individual with respect to their compensation terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of such individual’s handicap.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant, as follows:
A. Judgment for her back pay, including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which she would be entitled, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries.
C. Front pay.
D. Reinstatement
E. Punitive Damages.
F. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein;
G. Such other damages and relief as may be just and proper.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.

Dated this _____ day of May, 2003.

______________________________
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