Court Activity Heats Up, Post-COVID

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2022 | Discrimination, Employment |

Our employment law cases are starting to pick up steam lately, as the courts have reopened and started doing trials again as the fears of COVID have let-up. Interestingly, during the height of COVID, it seemed that every case was settling, but now, companies seem to be aggressively defending wrongful termination cases.

One of our specialties at Coane and Associates is wrongful termination employment law. Starting tomorrow, we will be having an arbitration trial, where we represent an older man who was fired by Travelers Insurance (Travelers Indemnity Company, to be exact), in an employment discrimination case. His claim is that he was fired because he is an older man, and that Travelers Insurance has a pattern of firing older men and replacing them with women. There is a similar arbitration case against Travelers pending in Massachusetts.

The lawsuit filed in court, claims that Nancy Spears of Travelers, “told the staff that this was the year of the woman” in 2019, the same year they fired our client allegedly because he is male. Our client, in his 50’s, was a Claim Technical Coverage and Quality Examiner. He was under the supervision of Susan Garofolo, who he alleges in the lawsuit gave him performance warnings/plans with no feedback, thereby setting him up for failure. The lawsuit also alleges that Garofolo was so angry about our client going to Human Resources that she retaliated and fired him.

We will often warn our clients to think twice about going to HR. We characterize HR as the enemy of the worker, because in reality, HR is normally there to protect the company and not the worker. Trial (arbitration) against Travelers starts tomorrow at 10am in Houston.

In another case we are handling in federal court in Houston, our client sued Woodville Pellets, LLC, a company owned by Graanul Invest Group. Our client, a Mexican-American employee of Woodville Pellets, sued for race and national origin discrimination which got so bad that he was forced to quit his job at the company. The company, after months of litigation, filed a motion for summary judgment, trying to get the case dismissed so they would not have to go before a jury. In an Order released today by U.S. District Judge, David Hittner, he ruled that the company will have to stand trial because there are issues of material fact with regard to race and national origin discrimination. Trial is scheduled for next month, where a jury will decide if the company is guilty of violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Bruce Coane is a lawyer handling wrongful termination cases throughout the United States for over 30 years. He is a 2020 and 2021 Super Lawyer selected by Thomson Reuters company, with offices in Texas and Florida. He may be reached at [email protected] or 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800. The law firm website is http://www.coane.com.