Former Cassens' worker hits company with $2 million suit

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 16, 2005, 10:48am

James and Debra Lambrich filed a whopping 25-count, $2 million suit claiming Cassens Transport Company, Cassens Corp., Crawford & Company, Dwight Kay and Tina Litwiller, retaliated against James after he filed multiple workers’ compensation claims.

Lambrich, who is represented by the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, filed comp claims in 1992, 1996, 1999, and 2002. According to the lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court on March 16, the defendants:

  • Selectively edited videotaped surveillance to present an erroneous depiction of his ability to perform manual labor;

  • Presented edited videotapes to his physicians in a clear and improper attempt to influence the medical opinions of physicians with regard to his medical condition;

  • Provided inaccurate and inconsistent written job descriptions to third parties with regard to his job duties; and

  • Destroyed videotapes which correctly show his actual job duties; and documentation relating to the destruction of the videotapes so he and his co-workers could not provide third parties with accurate descriptions of job duties.

    Lambrich says he was denied "in his repeated attempts to beg for a job of any type," and that his supervisors were to "immediately contact Kay if he came back to beg for a job."

    The defendants' conduct has caused Lambrich to suffer economic losses, increased debt, reduced self-esteem, and extreme mental hardship in both his personal and professional life, which includes diagnosed psychiatric conditions for which he has been hospitalized and has damaged his marital relations, the suit states.

    Lambrich also claims the defendants attempted to "teach him a lesson and to set an example for his co-workers who are injured and file a workers’ compensation claims."

    Crawford & Company serves as an independent adjuster for Cassens for claims filed by injured workers. Litwiller is a Crawford employee who handles Cassens’ claims.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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