A woman has filed suit against her employer, alleging it wrongly fired her after she filed for workers' compensation benefits.

Michelle Coats claims she was working for defendant Bechtel Construction Company on May 19, 2011, at about 1:30 p.m. when she sustained back injuries.

Following the incident, Coats filed for workers' compensation benefits and sought medical treatment with Bechtel's knowledge, according to the complaint filed July 16 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"In retaliation for plaintiff's having exercised her rights under the Workers' Compensation Act including, but not limited to, reporting her injury, seeking medical treatment and pursuing a claim for workers' compensation, defendant terminated plaintiff from her employment with defendant on or about Sept. 28, 2011," the suit states.

Bechtel violated workers' compensation laws by firing Coats, the complaint says.

In her complaint, Coats is seeking compensatory damages of more than $50,000, plus punitive and exemplary damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Mark C. Scoggins and Anthony P. Gilbreth of Crowder and Scoggins in Columbia will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1016.

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