Worker claims he was fired from Wal-Mart after work comp claim

Kelly Holleran Sep. 3, 2009, 8:54am

A former Wal-Mart worker has filed suit against the store, alleging he was terminated because he filed a workers' compensation claim.

Ronnie Wilder claims he was working at Wal-Mart on Dec. 18 when he sustained a work-related injury.

On Dec. 28, Wilder's primary physician, Dr. Neil Munhofen, treated his injury and took Wilder off work, according to the complaint filed Aug. 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Twice afterwards – on May 14 and May 28 – Wilder again forwarded off-work slips from Dr. Matthew Gornet to Wal-Mart to prove he still could not return to work, the complaint says.

On April 23, Wilder contacted Wal-Mart to let the store know he retained an attorney to assist him in his pending workers' compensation case, the suit states.

Despite his off-work slips, Wilder claims he was terminated on June 15 in retaliation for his workers' compensation filing.

"Defendant Wal-Mart knowingly fired Plaintiff Wilder to punish him for filing a worker's compensation claim and to deter other employees from filing such claims in the future," the complaint says.

Because of his termination, Wilder suffered a loss of earnings, reputation and future employability, the complaint says.

In the two-count suit, Wilder is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by Chris Kolker and Bill Phillips of Kolker Law Offices in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-458.

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