Philip Gonzales Jun. 10, 2016, 5:36pm


EAST ST. LOUIS — A licensed practical nurse is suing Murray Development Center and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, an employer and labor union, citing alleged wrongful termination and breach of duty of fair representation.

Julia Vaughn filed a complaint on June 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against the defendants, alleging violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act and breach of duty.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that, in January 2015, she was struck by an autistic patient, causing her to sustain fractures to three vertebrae in her neck. Her injuries required her to file FMLA benefits, the suit says, also alleging that she was subjected to retaliation for exercising her rights under the FMLA and was terminated from employment on August 15, 2015. The plaintiff holds Murray Development Center and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees responsible because the first defendant allegedly terminated her employment in retaliation for her taking leave under FMLA and the second defendant allegedly refused to pursue her grievance.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensation for lost wages, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, attorneys' fees and costs and such other relief as the court deems just and proper. She is represented by Lawrence P. Kaplan and Susan Kister of Kaplan Associates LLC in St. Louis.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:16-cv-00624

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois East St. Louis
750 Missouri Ave
East St Louis, IL 62201

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