Kids Hope United worker files suit for retaliatory discharge

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 27, 2005, 6:35am

A former employee of a pediatric rehabilitation center in Collinsville filed a retaliatory discharge suit in Madison County Circuit Court June 20.

Darrick Hibbler of Collinsville claims he sustained accidental injuries while working at Kids Hope United on April 20 and exercised his rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act by filing a claim seeking medical treatment, time off work, and receiving benefits.

According to the complaint, Kids Hope United fired Hibbler seven days after he reported a work accident. He had been employed there five years.

Hibbler claims his firing was under the pretext that he "simply not working out," but the real reason for his termination was for filing a work comp claim.

As a result, Hibbler claims he has lost substantial wages and will continue to lose wages, lost insurance coverage and other benefits and has experienced pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Hibbler is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 and punitive damages in excess of $50,000 plus all costs of the suit.

He is represented by Thomas Rich of Fairview Heights. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran, Jr.

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