A Pontoon Beach man seeks more than $1 million in punitive damages after he says his former employer caused him to lose his job.

Michael R. Steinway filed a lawsuit May 19 in Madison County Circuit Court against Granite Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Maria Kwarta.

Steinway claims he gave Granite Nursing and Rehabilitation Center's Human Resources Director Maria Kwarta his two-week notice of resignation after he accepted a position with Saint Anthony's Medical Center in Alton.

Two days before he began his new employment at Saint Anthony's, Steinway had a difference of opinion with a relative of a resident in Granite City, according to the complaint.

"That subsequent to the above difference of opinion, the Defendant by and through its employee, Maria Kwarta, Defendant's Human Resources Director, contacted Plaintiff's new employer directly and intentionally and unjustifiably interfered with Plaintiff's new employment," the suit states.

Because of Kwarta's interference, Saint Anthony's rescinded its job offer to Steinway, the complaint says. In turn, Steinway claims he lost significant income and benefits.

In his two-count complaint, Steinway seeks lost wages and benefits, plus punitive damages of more than $1 million, plus costs.

Bob L. Perica of The Perica Law Firm in Wood River will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-537.

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