Toys R Us and Gibbs settle

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 8, 2004, 3:48am

After being evicted from her Collinsville apartment Sept. 15, class action plaintiff Connie Gibbs apparently received some good news when her case against former employer Toys-R-Us settled Oct. 22.

Gibbs sued the toy retailer claiming the company fired her to avoid paying her pension. A four-count suit seeking at least $200,000 was filed in Madison County Circuit Court against New Jersey-based Toys-R-Us on April 6.

Details of the settlement were not immediately available. Calls to her attorney Thomas Maag of the Lakin Law Firm and Toys-R-Us have been unanswered.

According to Gibbs' complaint, she worked at the Toys-R-Us store in Fairview Heights for almost five years before an illness forced her to take "authorized sick leave time."

The complaint says Toys-R-Us used Gibbs' illness as a pretext to fire her so the company wouldn't have to pay her pension, which would have vested upon her five-year anniversary as an employee.

The suit also accuses Toys-R-Us of defaming Gibbs by suggesting to her next employer that she was "engaging in illegal conduct at the store."

Gibbs believes her former managers at Toys-R-Us got her fired from her next job, at Jack-in-the-Box.

Gibbs also is suing Jack in the Box, a case which is still pending.

Two months ago, Madison County Associate Circuit Court Judge Clarence Harrison ruled that Gibbs must vacate her Collinsville apartment by Sept. 15 and pay landlord Tina Kittstein of Lebanon $2,340 in back rent.

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