A coal worker from Hurst is suing his former employer for wrongful termination after he was allegedly fired for filing a workers' comp claim.
James Kearly filed the complaint against The American Coal Company Nov. 18 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
According to court records, Kearly was working for American Coal when he was allegedly injured on the job in July 2007. Kearly says he filed a workers' compensation claim. Sixteen days later, Kearly claims he was fired from the company. He contends the dismissal was directly related to his injury claim.
Kearly is asking for more than $50,000 in damages to compensate for lost wages and court costs. He is also asking for punitive damages in excess of $750,000 from his former employer.
Attorney Charles H. Stegmeyer of Belleville is representing Kearly.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case no. 10-L-606