BENTON – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has remanded a complaint filed by a Louisiana man who alleges he was wrongfully terminated following an accident.
According to the ruling written by Judge J. Phil Gilbert, the case should be remanded to the jurisdiction in which it was originally filed.
In October 2016, Edward Holmes filed suit at the Madison County Circuit Court alleging his Tulsa, Okla. employer Construction & Turnaround Services wrongfully terminated him in October 2015 in retaliation for seeking workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury. He also claims that two of his supervisors, Don Schexnider and Grant Dalton, "were responsible for his wrongful termination because, motivated by personal animosity, they inadequately investigated the situation and gave incomplete and inaccurate information to CTS about Holmes’ injury," the suit states.
He has sued each of them for intentional interference with economic advantage. In addition, Holmes alleges that defendant Aaron May, the union steward for Boilermakers Local 363, failed to give CTS information regarding Holmes’ injury, which led to CTS’s decision to fire Holmes.
"Holmes claims this also amounts to intentional interference with economic advantage," according to the court’s ruling.
CTS attempted to remove the case based on original diversity jurisdiction. CTS alleges that Holmes and Schexnider are citizens of Louisiana, Dalton is a citizen of Arkansas, and May is a citizen of Oklahoma.
The court found no cause for removal and remanded the case back to Madison County Circuit Court.
"This court has not yet invested substantial resources and energy in this case, which is in its early stages; responsive pleadings have not been filed, and discovery will not be complete for nearly four months,” Gilbert wrote. "Additionally, remanding this case would be the most efficient and fair way to resolve the remaining claims since Illinois state courts have more interest in administering and more expertise in applying state law issues like retaliatory discharge and intentional interference with economic advantage. Finally, there is no apparent inconvenience to either party in remanding this case to the forum where Holmes originally filed it."