Corrpro Companies, Inc. – Handicap/Age Discrimination, Unlawful Employment, Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR)

Corrpro Companies, Inc. – Handicap/Age Discrimination, Unlawful Employment, Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR)

Corrpro CompaniesIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

HARRY SUMNER DEWOLF,

PLAINTIFF,

V. CASE NO.:

CORRPRO COMPANIES, INC.,

DEFENDANT.
___________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Plaintiff, HARRY SUMNER DeWOLF, by and through his undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, CORRPRO COMPANIES, INC. (“Defendant” or “Corrpro”), 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 perceived handicap and age.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000).
3. The unlawful employment practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
PARTIES
4. Plaintiff resided in Orange County, Florida at all times material hereto.
5. Defendant, CORRPRO COMPANIES, INC., is a national engineering company doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed fifteen (15) or more persons and was engaged in corrosion engineering, cathodic protection, and providing corrosion prevention products and services.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM
6. Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
7. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
8. On March 17, 2005, Plaintiff filed a formal Charge of Discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and more than 180 days have expired without the FCHR making a determination on Plaintiff’s charge, a copy of which is attached to this complaint as Exhibit “A”.
9. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
10. In or about November 1999, Plaintiff began working for Defendant as a Coating Inspector.
11. Plaintiff worked for Defendant out of Defendant’s Cocoa, Florida location.
12. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff performed the duties assigned to him in a professionally competent manner, faithfully followed all reasonable instructions given to him by his supervisors, and abided by all of the rules and regulations of Defendants.
13. Defendant issued Plaintiff exceptional performance evaluations during his tenure with the company.

COUNT I: DISCRIMINATORY DISCHARGE
BECAUSE OF PERCEIVED HANDICAP
14. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates herein paragraphs 1 through 13, above.
15. On May 7, 2004, Plaintiff underwent a company-ordered physical examination at Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
16. The examining physician, Dr. Joseph J. Mignogna, MD, MPH, issued a report, which did not clear Plaintiff to work as a Coating Inspector.
17. Dr. Mignogna’s report stated that Plaintiff underwent a “limited exam” and instructed Plaintiff to have his physicians send him the results of their evaluations.
18. On June 19, 2004, Plaintiff’s supervisor, Manager, Kyle Greenfield, discharged Plaintiff because of Dr. Mignogna’s report.
19. Defendant discharged Plaintiff even though his alleged physical condition had not hindered him from performing the essential functions of his job in the past.
20. Plaintiff diligently contacted his physicians to schedule physical examinations. On or about July 27, 2004, Plaintiff submitted reports to Mr. Greenfield and Defendant’s Human Resources Director, Kate Sberna, which were signed by his physicians. These reports rebutted Dr. Mignogna’s May 5, 2004, report and cleared Plaintiff to work based on his good physical health.
21. However, Defendant ignored Plaintiff’s physicians’ reports and refused to reinstate Plaintiff because it perceived and regarded him as handicap.
22. Defendant also failed to reasonably accommodate Plaintiff by reassigning him to another position because of his perceived handicap as required by law. Instead, Defendant summarily discharged Plaintiff from employment without attempting to accommodate him and without giving him the opportunity to submit information from his physicians showing that he was physically capable of working as a Coating Inspector.
23. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe damage to his financial welfare and his employment prospects by reason of Defendants’ failure to accommodate Plaintiff’s perceived handicap and the discriminatory discharge.
24. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ discriminatory actions.
25. In subjecting Plaintiff to handicap discrimination, Defendants violated Florida law and Chapter 760, Florida Statutes which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual with a handicap, with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s handicap or perceived handicap.
26. The conduct of Defendant complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for his back pay (with interest), including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which he would be entitled, had he 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 non-pecuniary loss;
C. Front pay;
D. Punitive Damages;
E. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein; and
F. Such other damages and relief as may be just, equitable, and proper.

COUNT II: DISCRIMINATORY DISCHARGE
BECAUSE OF AGE
27. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates herein paragraphs 1 through 13, above.
28. Plaintiff’s date-of-birth is October 26, 1938.
29. On June 17, 2004, Plaintiff’s supervisor, Manager Kyle Greenfield, discharged Plaintiff from employment.
30. Mr. Greenfield is over ten (10) years younger than Plaintiff.
31. On at least three (3) occasions between January 2004 and Plaintiff’s June 17, 2004, discharge, Mr. Greenfield asked Plaintiff whether and when he intended to retire or what his plans were regarding retirement.
32. Each time, Plaintiff responded that his intentions were to continue working.
33. Upon information and belief, Defendant replaced Plaintiff with a younger employee.
34. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe damage to his financial welfare and his employment prospects by reason of his discriminatory discharge based on age.
35. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendants’ discriminatory actions.
36. In subjecting Plaintiff to age discrimination, Defendants violated Florida law and Chapter 760, Florida Statutes which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any person because of age with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
37. The conduct of Defendant complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for his back pay (with interest), including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which he would be entitled, had he 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 non-pecuniary loss;
C. Front pay;
D. Punitive Damages;
E. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein; and
F. Such other damages and relief as may be just, equitable, and proper.

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

Dated this ____ day of January, 2006.

Arcadier and Associates, P.A.

______________________________
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Daniel A. Perez, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 426903
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
Phone: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681