Callis to hear motions in wrongful discharge cases filed against Madison

Amelia Flood Nov. 17, 2010, 5:00am


Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis is set to hear two sets of summary judgment motions in two wrongful discharge suits filed in the same year by two former city of Madison employees.

Both sets of motions are set for hearing at 9 a.m. Friday.

In the first case, plaintiff Donald Wilson claims he was fired from his job as a street department worker after injuring his back lifting a large animal carcass.

Wilson claims that he was fired in 2005 after filing for workers' compensation.

In the second suit, plaintiff Courtney Burrell claims that Madison fired him in 2007 after he filed for workers' compensation after the Bobcat he was operating for the city hit a live electrical wire and injured him.

Both Wilson and Burrell filed suit in 2008.

The suits seek damages in excess of $50,000 and costs.

Madison denies that it did anything wrong in discharging the two men.

In Wilson's case, the city contends that Wilson had been declared unfit for heavy work in November 2005 and was terminated because he could not do the lifting his job required two years later.

In its Oct. 18 motion for summary judgment, the city argues that Wilson can't prove he was terminated in retaliation for filing the work comp claim.

The city asks Stack to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice.

In Burrell's case, Madison argues in its Oct. 14 motion for partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were not caused by his firing but rather by his injuries sustained in the electrical wire accident.

The city also claims that Burrell has admitted that he could not work due to the injury and the lost wages were the result of the injury, not the termination.

James Craney represents Madison in both cases.

Morgan Scroggins represents Wilson.

Jim Ellis represents Burrell.

Wilson's suit also names John Hamm III as a defendant. Craney is also Hamm's attorney.

The Wilson case is Madison case number 08-L-782.

The Burrell case is case number 08-L-1162.

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