Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

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Latest post Mon, May 16 2011 11:08 AM by Beth3. 11 replies.
  • Sat, May 14 2011 1:36 PM

    • Teresa0414
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    Warning [=*#] Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    First a little background, on 6/7/10, I injured my L knee while at work;  My supervisor instructed me to go to the ER but before I could get there he called and I was immediately terminated and refused workers comp information.  After hiring an attorney, I received WC benefits, but with constant delays, it took until 7/2/10 to see a MD or to receive any pain medication (the pain was constant and excruciating, I was unable to bear ANY weight on that leg at all).  After a series of CT Scans and MRIs I had surgery on 11/30/10.  I was released from WC in 04/11 with an MMI of 4%. Due to the injury I am unable to go back to the line of work I was in and am faced with having to 'start over' in a new field. 

    I am now in the process of filing a Wrongful Termination case against my employer. I have received a right to sue letter from the EEOC and have agreed to mediation on 06/01/11.  

    How much is a fair settlement to ask for? When asked by the EEOC I suggested a years salary but they said to then knock off the money I had already received from WC from that amount. But 30% seems unfair for the pain, suffering, challenges and struggles I've faced and still have to face. I've had no health insurance for a year and won't till I get a new job and I have to get retrained and start over in a new line of work. Plus, I'm now faced with the daunting challenge of living on unemployment benefits of less than $290 a week. Somehow 30% of a year's salary hardly seems fair.  Is it?  I have no idea what a case like this entails, what is a fair amout to ask for and expect?   

  • Sat, May 14 2011 2:57 PM In reply to

    • cbg
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    It would be irresponsible in the extreme for anyone on a message board without access to much more information that you can or should post here, to speculate on a dollar figure. If you do not have an attorney already, now is the time to get one, and ask HIM that question. He can access a lot of information than we cannot, and we cannot and should not speculate without it.

  • Sat, May 14 2011 3:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    I agree that you should be hiring an attorney and letting him evaluate how much your claim is worth.

    Frankly, though, I'd say a year's salary isn't enough.

    Trouble is, the wrongful termination didn't cause the injury or the subsequent treatment. The results would have likely been the same (retraining and starting over in a new line of work).

    So all you get to do is punish the employer by taking some of his money away from him. How much you get is impossible to predict.

    And you might have to pay back WC for any loss of earnings that you already received.

     

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  • Sat, May 14 2011 9:42 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    I think you are unwise to go into mediation w/o counsel  and a lot of homework as to resolutions in similar  wrongful termination cases.

    Also pay attention with counsel to the tax impact of any award--some awards are taxable --some are not--way beyond me.

    A lot may depend on your prior earnings history, your retraining costs , your likely future earnings and remaining earnings time until age 65/66 as well as your % impairment.

    The view of others may be the actual act of wrongful termination is a minor violation --you are going to need counsel to sort out what points likely do count and how to make the points--which is probably a job for counsel.



  • Sat, May 14 2011 9:55 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    Whats EEOC got to do with this --Isn't a wrongful discharge matter due to an injury a state issue under  Texas Labor Code 451.001 ?



  • Sat, May 14 2011 10:27 PM In reply to

    • Teresa0414
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    I don't know, hadn't even heard of such a thing.  I was only told about filing thru the EEOC. But I appreciate your adivce, thank you.  It seems extremely clear that if nothing else I need to put the breaks on everything until I can find a lawyer.   Now, how I go about finding a good lawyer that I can afford is a whole new question! 

  • Sat, May 14 2011 11:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    Please be aware that you only have 90 days from receipt of the RTS letter to file the case.  Watch the time limits!

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Sat, May 14 2011 11:55 PM In reply to

    • Teresa0414
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    Everyone has been so helpful! I'm hitting the phones first thing Monday to find a lawyer.  I'm guessing the first place to start is a local ABA referral service?

  • Sun, May 15 2011 10:24 AM In reply to

    • Cica
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    You generally pay for referral services, which gives names to attorneys already listed.  You apparently had an attorney for workers' comp, why not ask him/her?  Another alternative is to either use the Find a Lawyer search to the right or Google search "employment lawyers" in or near your county/State.

    The Internet brings up Web sites and a text block on the lawyer page for you to briefly explain your situation.  The attorney will contact you for more info, if interested.  (And instead of having to retype the complaint each time, copy/paste it.).

    I found two attorneys searching via Internet.  One was for an employment complaint.  The second was to file a wrongful death suit against a nursing home.  (And, the latter actually resulted from a forwarding of my complaint by an attorney I contacted to another attorney whom I didn't contact. So "referral services" can even work amongst attorneys.)

  • Sun, May 15 2011 10:56 AM In reply to

    • Teresa0414
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    My Workers Comp attorney has been useless!  She never even suggested I could file a wrongful termination suit, a friend of mine did (actually, another employee that worked for the same company that got fired for similar reasons). I almost missed the deadline to file by 2 days.  I found her on the internet, her firm was based in another city. She was great in the beginning but after the 1st month she doesn't have time for me!  I asked her about attorneys for this case and she sent an email to an attorney she knew closer to me but turns out he doesn't do employment law. That was the extent to which she was willing to help.  I have a call in to her 'boss' a partner at the firm.  He's been more helpful in the past when she's been too busy, hopefully he can help. 

    So I'm kind of leary about just a shot in the dark on the internet.   I realize I don't have any other choice at this point I clearly need a lawyer. I've been trying to survive on workers comp for the last year, I'm living paycheck to paycheck so to speak and really need to find an attorney that doesn't require a retainer up front, that will work for a percentage of the case.  I've been scouring the internet, they are hard to find. I've found a couple of 'free consultations' so I guess that's my starting point.

  • Sun, May 15 2011 12:03 PM In reply to

    • Ford
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    I only practice criminal law, but I also don't see the EEOC connection.  EEOC would typically be involved in discrimination cases, on the basis of protected class like age, race, sex, religion, etc.

    You're aware that a right to sue letter is just a document and isn't a comment on the merits of your case, right?  I sure wish they'd rename those things.  "I just got my Exhausted Administrative Remedies letter..."

    Unless your injury created a disability, this appears to be a retaliation action on the basis of you asserting rights under state law - workers comp.

    So, why did you get EEOC involved?

  • Mon, May 16 2011 11:08 AM In reply to

    • Beth3
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    Re: Whats a Fair Settlement in a Wrongful Termination Case

    I don't see an EEOC connection to this situation either, unless there's some ADA issue here but that is not at all obvious from the information ahared by the OP.

    Poster, it appears you need a Worker's Comp attorney practicing in Texas, not an employment law attorney.  You may be entitled to additional WC benefits, including continuing temporary total disability benefits and possibly a permanent partial disablity settlement when you reach end of healing.  Whether your discharge was "wrongful" under Texas' worker's comp statutes is something a WC attorney needs to advise you on.

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