Retaliatory discharge suit filed against Von Alst Operating

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 11, 2008, 5:20am

Kenneth Sheppard filed a retaliatory discharge suit against Von Alst Operating in Madison County Circuit Court March 5, alleging he was fired after exercising his rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.

Sheppard claims he fell over trash and debris while stepping down from a scaffold at a job site in Godfrey on Nov. 1, 2006.

According to Sheppard, he has continuously worked for Von Alst for nearly 10 years.

He claims that on June 26, 2007, he filed an application of adjustment of claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission which was set on the Collinsville docket.

Sheppard contends he was totally disabled from June 20, 2007, until Sept. 13, 2007, and subsequently settled his claim on Dec. 3, 2007.

According to Sheppard, on Jan. 23, his attorney Christopher Donohoo of Wood River, filed a petition for discovery pursuant to Section 5 of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and two days later his employer was served with the petition and summons.

He claims he was unlawfully discharged on Feb. 6, as a result of the exercise of his rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act.

Sheppard claims his firing has caused him to incur past and future lost wages, sustain emotional distress and anxiety, incur costs associated with securing new employment, suffer humiliation and distress and he has been unable to secure similar employment.

Sheppard is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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