Cancer diagnosis caused firing at Mid-America airport, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Feb. 22, 2010, 1:58am

A man claims his employer wrongly terminated him the day after he informed his supervisor of his cancer diagnosis.

Victor Houston filed a lawsuit Feb. 11 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Mid America St. Louis Airport.

Houston claims he began working at Mid America as a building maintenance employee on Dec. 1, 2008.

On Feb. 12, 2009, Houston told his supervisor, Brian Geiseking, of his recent cancer diagnosis, according to the complaint. The following day, Mid America fired Houston, the suit states.

Had he been able to remain at Mid America until March 1, Houston would have been eligible to receive health insurance benefits, the complaint says.

"Houston was terminated as a result of his request for use of health insurance benefits and his need for medical treatment to be covered by health insurance," the suit states.

After learning of his termination, Houston filed a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and EEOC, the complaint says. Within 90 days before he filed his suit, Houston claims he received a notice of his right to sue Mid America from EEOC.

In his complaint, Houston claims he suffered emotional distress, mental anguish, pain, suffering and inconvenience because of his termination; lost his enjoyment of life and wages; and suffered other pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.

In his three-count complaint, Houston seeks a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs.

Michael J. Brunton of Brunton Law Offices in Collinsville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-67.

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