Latex allergy sufferer sues employer for termination, emotional distress

Ann Knef Oct. 25, 2005, 11:13am

A janitor fired for not wearing synthetic latex gloves has filed suit against his former employer, Heartland Regional Medical Center of St. Joseph, Mo., alleging discrimination because of his disability.

Arther McLorn III of Williamson County is seeking job reinstatement and compensatory damages in complaint filed Oct. 18 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

McLorn also states that he suffers from hypertension, which was aggravated by wearing synthetic latex gloves.

"Each time McLorn was exposed to the synthetic latex gloves he suffered increased instances of hypertension which caused him to become dizzy and lightheaded and greatly reduced his ability to concentrate," the suit alleges.

He is represented by Shari R. Rhode of Rhode & Jackson of Carbondale.

According to the complaint, McLorn was advised by a physician on Nov. 29, 2004, not to wear synthetic gloves for two weeks because of skin irritation.

He aksed for non-synthetic gloves, he claims, but his request was denied.

McLorn was terminated Jan. 12, 2005, because he could not wear the synthetic latex gloves, the suit states.

"Each time McLorn wore the synthetic latex gloves the resulting rash and irritation became significantly worse, eventually causing blisters that covered his hands and arms as well as his ears and other places where the gloves came into contact with his skin," the complaint states.

McLorn also claims negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Carol Stricklin, McLorn's supervisor, is also named as a defendant in the suit.

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