The trial of a four year-old retaliatory discharge case got under way Tuesday afternoon in Madison County after a jury was sworn in at 1:40 p.m.

Plaintiff Frank Cantlon, a truck driver, claims he was fired for claiming worker's compensation after an accident in 2004 in which he fell and hurt his knee.

His former employer, East County Transport, argues that Cantlon failed to take a mandated drug screening test in the time allowed.

Cantlon's suit seeks damages of at least $50,000 per claim, costs
and other compensation.

Cantlon claims he was ready to return to work in mid-May 2005.

He claims to have been willing to take the drug test but was not told that there was any time limit.

He was then fired for allegedly refusing to take the test and has subsequently had trouble gaining other employment.

After opening statements by both sides, the plaintiff called the office manager at Gateway Occupational Healthcare to testify about the procedures for taking drug screenings and Cantlon's in particular.

The case is assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth.

However, Madison County Associate Judge Thomas Chapman is overseeing the trial.

The plaintiff is represented by Michael Brunton.

The defendant is represented by Stephen Mudge.

The trial will continue Wednesday.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-435.

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