Plumber says he was fired after filing work comp claim

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 29, 2009

A Wood River man claims his employer attempted to dissuade him from filing a worker's compensation claim after he was injured at work, then proceeded to fire him after he filed the claim.

Wes Amerson filed a lawsuit Sept. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court against Mark Eberhardt, doing business as B and W Heating and Cooling.

Amerson claims he was working as a plumber at B and W Heating and Cooling on May 8 when he sustained a smashed hand while moving equipment.

According to the complaint, Amerson went to Alton Memorial Hospital for medical care and treatment, then informed Eberhardt that he planned on making a worker's compensation claim.

While Amerson was at Alton Memorial's emergency room, he received a call from Eberhardt, who attempted to persuade him to report the injury as an illness under Eberhardt's general group medical insurance plan and to report the injury to the hospital as a non-accidental injury, the suit states.

However, Amerson insisted he would report the injury under worker's compensation and requested worker's compensation insurance carrier information to submit to his treating physician, the complaint says.

But Eberhardt refused to provide the information, then called Amerson on May 12 to suggest that information Amerson had placed on the accident information form was not accurate, Amerson claims.

"The Defendant then discharged the Plaintiff on May 12, 2009 in retaliation for Plaintiff asserting his rights under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act," the suit states.

Because of his termination, Amerson lost earnings and suffered great emotional distress and upset, the complaint says.

In the three-count suit, Amerson is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000 and punitive damages of more than $50,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

Greg Roosevelt of Roosevelt Law Office in Edwardsville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1008.

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