A woman claims she lost her job at a rehabilitation center after she filed for workers’ compensation benefits.
Penny Lucas filed a lawsuit Jan. 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Atrium Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Cahokia.
In her complaint, Lucas alleges she was injured when she fell at work on Dec. 27, 2012. Following the incident, she was told to go to the hospital and was given a post-accident drug test on Dec. 28, 2012, according to the complaint.
Although the test came back negative, Lucas was required to submit to another drug test on Jan. 15, 2013, the suit states. The second test allegedly came back positive, but Lucas insisted that the results had to be inaccurate, the complaint says. She requested that the hospital retest her urine, but it refused to do so, she says.
In turn, Lucas went to Memorial Hospital in Belleville on Feb. 8, 2013, to take another test at her own expense. The results of this test came back negative, according to the complaint.
Even though Atrium was immediately notified of the discrepancy, the company fired Lucas on Jan. 15, the suit states. It failed to begin an investigation following the subsequent blood test, the complaint says.
“In violation of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Atrium discharged plaintiff for exercising her rights,” the suit states.
Because of her job loss, Lucas lost her income and benefits and endured emotional distress and mental anguish, the complaint says.
She seeks compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages, plus interest, costs and attorneys’ fees and other relief the court deems just in excess of $75,000.
Ryan M. Furniss of The Furniss Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing her.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 15-L-17.