Hearing pushed off in retaliatory discharge suit while appeal pending

Amelia Flood Dec. 28, 2010, 7:37am

A hearing on a plaintiff's request for a $130,000 bond pending a defense appeal of a $100,000 verdict has been moved.

Madison County Associate Judge Thomas Chapman signed an order Dec. 23 moving the Dec. 30 hearing in the case to Jan. 7 at 8:30 a.m.

Chapman is set to hear a plea by plaintiff Frank Cantlon to require defendant East County Transport to post a $130,000 bond.

East County also is asking Chapman to stay enforcement of a $100,000 judgment against the company.

That judgment came after a trial earlier this year in which a jury found that the company fired Cantlon in retaliation for the filing of a workers' compensation claim.

Cantlon claimed the company fired him after he sought the compensation following a knee injury.

He sued East County in 2006.

East County denied the firing was retaliatory and instead argued that Cantlon did not follow the proper procedures related to a drug screening.

The jury awarded Cantlon $26,000 in lost wages, $36,000 for his emotional distress and $36,000 in punitive damages.

East County is appealing the verdict.

The Fifth District Appellate Court received the appeal earlier this month.

Michael Brunton represents Cantlon.

Stephen Mudge represents the defense.

Chapman is currently assigned the case and oversaw the suit's trial.

At the time of the trial, the case was part of Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth's docket.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-435.

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