Case against Casino Queen transferred to St. Clair County

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 20, 2006, 9:25am

A retaliatory discharge case filed last year in Madison County Circuit Court has been transferred to the venue where the cause of action is alleged to have occurred.

Cathy Merriman sued the Casino Queen on April 26, 2005, claiming she was fired after making a request for a position in a less smoky environment.

Casino Queen filed a motion to transfer the case to St. Clair County, a motion agreed to by Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

Merriman is a resident of Collinsville in Madison County; the Casino Queen is located in East St. Louis in St. Clair County.

According to the complaint, Merriman told her boss she could not tolerate smoke because of an ongoing health problem and informed her boss that she could work in a cashier cage that had air conditioning.

She claims her boss told her that her request would be consideredbut was then fired two months after she made the request.

"Plaintiff was fired for making a request for an accommodation to a less smoky environment and said termination is in violation of the provisions of the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act, and clearly mandated public policy," the complaint states.

Merriman claims that her wrongful termination has caused her to suffer emotional distress, lost wages and benefits and loss of seniority. She had worked at the casino for more than 10 years.

She is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $150,000 and $2 million in punitive damages.

She is represented by Bob Perica of Alton.

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