Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Feb. 24, 2015, 7:14am

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., claims a former employee was terminated for “legitimate” reasons in a lawsuit alleging she was fired from the company’s Granite City store because she filed a workers’ compensation claim.

According to Cynthia Mason’s Sept. 15 lawsuit, she alleges she was hurt on the job Feb. 3, immediately notified her supervisor of her injury and applied for benefits allowed under Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act. On Aug. 9, Mason alleges she was fired in retaliation for filing a claim against the store.

Wal-Mart is accused of retaliatory discharge.

Wal-Mart answered the complaint on Oct. 24 arguing the plaintiff was terminated for “legitimate, nonpretextual reasons.”

Wal-Mart also claims Mason’s request for punitive damages should be barred because such an award would violate its constitutional rights, including the Due Process Clause, the Takings Clause and the Equal Protection Clause.

Mason responded to the defendant’s affirmative defenses on Oct. 28 denying them.

Mason seeks more than $100,000 in damages for lost wages and benefits plus the costs of the lawsuit.

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder scheduled a case management conference for March 25 at 9 a.m.

Keith Short of the Law Office of Keith Short, P.C., in Edwardsville represents Mason.

Kelly J. H. Murrie and Jennifer S. Kingston of Dowd Bennett, LLP, in St. Louis represent Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The defendant requests a jury trial.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-1275

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