District 189 and contractors blamed for lost wages

Ann Knef Jan. 16, 2007, 8:37am

A Swansea woman who claims she was fired from East St. Louis District 189 in retaliation for filing two workers' comp claims in 2005, filed separate lawsuits against the school district and maintenance contractors in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Andrea Tolden-Hughes alleges she was terminated under the pretext of non-renewal of her contract when in reality she was fired for filing injury claims in March and November of 2005.

She also filed suit against HVAC contractors Integrated Facility Services and Air Masters claiming they negligently failed to clean up water and oil on the floor which caused her to fall and sustain injuries on March 31, 2005.

Represented by Thomas C. Rich of Fairview Heights, Tolden-Hughes is seeking in excess of $50,000 in each of her claims.

The suits, filed Jan. 12, do not indicate Tolden-Hughes' job description. Her suit against the school district claims she worked for District 189 from Oct. 12, 2004, through June 30, 2006, at 1005 State St. in East St. Louis.

She claims she has lost substantial wages, insurance coverage and other benefits and has experienced pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Her suit against the contractors claims she suffered neck, shoulder and low back injuries after slipping on liquid that was negligently left behind by Integrated Facility Services and Air Masters.

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