A St. Clair County career police officer is suing the Village of Cahokia for alleged wrongful termination.
Ronald D. Labbee Jr. filed suit Jan. 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
According to the complaint, Labbee, who had been employed by the village since 1999, was injured while on duty Feb. 19, 2010. After that, he filed a claim for benefits under state workers’ compensation law and was approved to return to work in March 2011. However, he was unable to perform all duties without accommodations, the suit states.
According to the complaint, Labbee was terminated March 23, 2011, at which time he entered a vocational rehabilitation program in accordance with workers’ compensation law. Between March and September 2011, he worked as a dispatcher for another employer.
The suit states that Cahokia then created a booking position and offered it to Labbee who accepted. However, the village did not accommodate his work restrictions and terminated him Dec. 1, 2014, while his compensation claim was still pending, the suit says.
The complaint goes on to say that Cahokia misrepresented the new position and deliberately created the job to avoid paying Labbee workers’ compensation benefits. Labbee alleges loss of income and distress.
Labbee seeks punitive damages in excess of $50,000, attorney fees and costs.
He is represented by attorney Jay Dowling of the Law Offices of Sterling and Dowling in Fairview Heights.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 15-L-9.