Retaliatory discharge set for further case management in September

Amelia Flood Jul. 27, 2009, 7:48am

A Madison County retaliatory discharge suit has been set for further case management in September according to court documents.

The case, over an employee's report of an alleged attempted theft from her ex-husband's shed, was filed last year. The employer, a Collinsville propane dealer, denies the charges in the complaint, citing several Constitutional Amendments.

Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth is presiding. The case was originally assigned to former Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

Plaintiff Karen Castillar is suing Amerigas Propane and her former boss Diane Moore for damages in excess of $50,000 including past and future lost wages and fringe benefits, pain and suffering.

In her complaint, Castillar contends that some of her co-workers attempted to break in to her ex-husband's shed to steal personal property. She alleges that Moore ordered them to do so. Upon learning of her co-workers' actions, Castillar claims she reported it to Moore and Moore's supervisor, Thomas Herrmann.

The alleged break-in attempt happened around Nov. 13, 2006.
According to court documents, Castillar was then fired four days later.

Castillar contends that she was fired for reporting the incident, although the reason given was that she improperly used company property. Castillar asserts that Moore and other employees were guilty of the same actions that the plaintiff was fired for.

The defendants argue in their answer that Castillar fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and that Castillar has failed to mitigate her alleged damages. While denying Castillar's complaints, the defendants also cite the protection from double jeopardy and other Constitutional protections. They also argue that Castillar failed to engage in protected activity and that her suit is barred by the "unclean hands" doctrine.

Castillar is represented by Michael Brunton of Collinsville.

Amerigas and Moore are represented by Charles Reis of St. Louis.

The new case management conference was set July 22. It is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 9 a.m.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-1062.

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