Casino Queen sued by employee over work comp claim

Andrea Dearden Apr. 19, 2012, 6:36am

A Madison County woman claims she was fired from an East St. Louis casino after she tried to claim workers' compensation benefits.

Robbin Winbush filed a lawsuit April 9 in Madison County Circuit Court against Casino Queen Inc. and Zurich North America.

According to the complaint, Winbush worked for Casino Queen as a janitor from September 2001 through September 2009. In April and June 2006 Winbush says she was hurt while working at the casino and filed workers' compensation claims to have her injury-related expenses paid.

Winbush alleges she showed up for work in September 2009 and was told by a supervisor to leave the work area, that she was fired and "no longer welcome" on the casino property.

Winbush alleges in October 2009 the casino tried to reverse the termination by asking the former employee to voluntarily resign her position and give up her claim to workers' compensation benefits.

Winbush says she refused and, through an attorney, demanded she be returned to work immediately. Winbush says she has since settled her injury complaint with Casino Queen without resigning from her job.

Winbush accuses the Casino Queen and its insurance carrier, Zurich North America, of civil conspiracy and violating Illinois' Whistleblower Act for asking her to give up her rights to her workers' compensation benefits. She is also suing the casino for wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge. Winbush seeks more than $350,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, lost wages and benefits plus court costs.

Attorney Lee W. Barron of Alton is representing Winbush. They ask for a jury trial.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-440

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