Two men claim they were wrongly terminated after refusing to indemnify their company for potential damages to company-owned vehicles.

Steven Trochuck and Richard Havener filed a lawsuit on Oct. 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Patterson Companies and Patterson Dental.

Both men say the companies, which employed them in Madison County, presented them with a document in October 2008 that would have indemnified Patterson against damages to company-owned vehicles. Trochuck and Havener both responded that the demand was illegal and declined to sign the document or participate in the plan.

They later informed their employer that they had not been paid full and proper wages in violation of federal and state law.

On Nov. 20, 2008 both men were informed that they had been suspended from the company. A short time later they were informed that they had been terminated.

Trochuck and Havener claim that the companies' requirement that they sign an indemnity document is in violation of federal law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. They further claim their termination is retaliatory and in violation of federal and state law and Illinois public policy. Trochuck says, in Count II of his claim, that Patterson violated the Federal Whistleblower Act by terminating him.

Trochuck and Havener say they incurred loss of wages, income and benefits. They also say they suffered emotional distress, humiliation and embarrassment.

In his complaint, Trochuck seeks compensatory damages of $50,000 and punitive damages on both counts. Havener seeks a judgment of $50,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages.

Attorney Lee W. Barron is representing both men.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-1018.

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