A railroad company removed a former employee’s lawsuit alleging age discrimination to federal court.
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis filed a notice of removal to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois on Feb. 5 through attorney Heidi Kuns Durr of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart of St. Louis.
The defendant argues that removal is proper based on the diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy.
According to the Dec. 21 complaint, plaintiff Harrold Smithee worked for Terminal Railroad from June 8, 1962, until he was terminated on Sept. 2, 2014.
Smithee claims he took a position as a railroad engineer in 1990 and became eligible for retirement on Dec. 24, 2002, when he reached the age of 60 and completed 30 years of service, the suit states.
Smithee alleges that when he became eligible for retirement, the defendant’s managerial staff allegedly began asking him when he planned to retire. He also claims the defendant coerced other older employees to retire.
Then on Sept. 2, 2014, the defendant terminated Smithee’s employment. Smithee claims his termination was due to his age.
The plaintiff seeks damages of more than $50,000 for back pay, lost wages, inconvenience, emotional upset, pain and suffering, court costs and attorney’s fees.
Smithee is represented by Edward J. Szewczyk of Callis, Papa & Szewczyk in Granite City.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1640