Post comp claim, American Steel Foundry worker sues

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 2, 2005, 5:35am

Charles Skelton of Pontoon Beach filed a retaliatory discharge lawsuit against his former employer, American Steel Foundry of Granite City, alleging he was fired after seeking worker's compensation benefits.

Skelton filed his suit March 1 in Madison County Circuit Court’s Civil Law Division.

A welder, Skelton alleges he developed bilateral carpal tunnel symptoms in the course of his employment with American Steel prior to Oct. 12, 2004--the date he was discharged.

According to the complaint, Skelton was discharged in retaliation for seeking benefits.

Skelton is also seeking damages under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), alleging that his carpal tunnel was perceived by American Steel as a disability. In spite of his handicap, he claimed he was qualified with reasonable accommodation, to perform essential functions of a welder.

Represented by Nathan Lanter of Nelson & Nelson of Belleville, Skelton is seeking at least $100,000 in damages plus relief the court deems just and proper.

Skelton claims he has lost substantial wages and other benefits and has sustained and continues to sustain physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of reputation.

He filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charging American Steel with unlawful handicap discrimination under the ADA.

According to the complaint, EEOC issued Skelton a right to sue letter dated Dec. 7, 2004.

The EEOC closed its file on Skelton’s charge for failing to state a claim under any statutes enforced by the EEOC and states that he must file a lawsuit within 90 days of the letter or his right to sue will be lost.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

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