Flying J worker claims retaliatory discharge

Kelly Holleran Apr. 11, 2011, 4:35am

A woman has filed suit against her former employer, alleging she was wrongfully terminated after attempting to file for workers' compensation benefits.

Jennifer Rice claims she was working for defendant Flying J on Dec. 22, 2008, when she sustained injuries in an accident. Rice does not specify how the accident occurred or what injuries she incurred, but she does say she filed for workers' compensation benefits afterward.

Rice received some workers' compensation benefits, but was terminated on April 1, 2009, according to the complaint filed March 30 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"Jennifer Rice's discharge from her employment with Flying J is causally related to being injured at work and requesting worker's compensation benefits," the suit states.

Because of her wrongful discharge, Rice suffered emotional distress and pain, the complaint says.

In addition to Flying J, Rice names John Mourton and Sharon Howard as defendants, saying they provided the company with information that led it to terminate Rice.

Howard and Mourton "acted maliciously with personal animosity against Plaintiff" when they recommended Rice's termination, the suit states.

In her three-count suit, Rice is seeking punitive damages and a judgment of more than
$150,000, plus costs the court deems just.

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

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-294.

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