Suit claims employer spread false rumors

Kelly Holleran Apr. 6, 2010, 11:30am

A Madison County man claims he suffered damages to his reputation after his employer started spreading rumors that he attempted to falsify a workers' compensation claim.

James Ehlers claims he was working for defendant Metro Sports on March 12, 2009, when he was injured. After Ehlers' injury, a Metro Sports employee, Wendell McAfoos, requested Ehlers submit his medical bills to his personal insurance provider, according to the complaint filed March 31 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Ehlers informed McAfoos he had no personal insurance and that he intended to file a workers' compensation claim, the suit states.

"That subsequent to the above, Defendant by and through its employees started telling employees and patrons that Plaintiff was trying to falsify a workers' compensation claim for an injury that was not work related, when they knew it was false constituting actual malice," the complaint says.

As a result of the rumors, Ehlers claims he suffered a damage to his reputation.

In his three-count suit, Ehlers seeks a judgment in excess of $150,000 and punitive damages of more than $75,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by Bob L. Perica of The Perica Law Firm in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-364.

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