Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Retaliatory discharge suit at trial in Judge Ruth’s courtroom

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 10, 2015


Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth is presiding over a trial this week in a case alleging a man was terminated from Midwest Sanitary Service after he reported his employer for allegedly inappropriately dumping toxic substances.

The trial began on Monday at the Madison County Circuit Court.

Plaintiff Paul Crane Jr. filed the lawsuit on March 31, 2014 against Midwest Sanitary Service, Bob Evans Sr., Bob Evans Jr. and Nancy Donovan.

In his complaint, Crane claims he was working for Midwest Sanitary Service in Wood River when he allegedly observed his fellow employees dumping toxic waste and other hazardous substances illegally. Crane took photos of the dumping and reported the violations to state regulators, the suit states.

After Crane filed the complaint, he claims the Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to Midwest Sanitary Service, which laid out numerous environmental violations.

Crane alleges he was terminated on the same day his employer received the letter from the EPA, the suit states.

Crane claims he lost his job because he reported the alleged violations.

The defendants answered the complaint on May 6, 2014, denying the allegations, but did not include any affirmative defenses.

Crane seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus punitive damage of more than $50,000, back wages, front pay, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

The plaintiff is represented by Lee W. Barron and William D. Buchanan of The Law Offices of Lee W. Barron in Alton.

The defendants are represented by Merle Bassett of Bassett Law Office P.C. in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-501

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