Worker claims he was wrongly laid off

Kelly Holleran Jun. 18, 2009, 9:00am

A Madison County man says he was wrongly laid off because of a mistaken belief he could return to work after he was injured.

Douglas Canham filed a lawsuit June 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against Zurich Services Corporation.

Canham says he was receiving workers' compensation benefits from his employer, which were being administered through Zurich.

On May 26 at 8:33 a.m., Canham was traveling to his 9:45 a.m. doctor appointment when he received a phone call from Lisa Vogt, a Zurich employee, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit says Vogt told Canham he had been laid off because his doctor had released him for full duty at his job.

However, Canham maintains he had not even been seen by his doctor on the day of the phone call, let alone been released for work.

Canham had made trips to the doctor before the May 26 phone call. During Canham's visits, the doctor verified Canham could lift no more than 40 pounds – not enough to warrant his return to work, the complaint says.

"A Zurich employee named 'Heather" had, on a date prior to May 26, 2009, had previously told the doctor that Plaintiff needed to be able to life (sic) 70 pounds from the floor, to the waste (sic), before Plaintiff could be returned to work," the suit states.

Following Vogt's phone call, Canham went to his doctor, who told Canham to go to the gym and work himself back up to 70 pounds so he could be called back to work when the layoff ended, Canham says.

Canham is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-581.

More News