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Dollar Tree Store, Inc. - Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), Handicap Discrimination, Employee.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
V. CASE NO.:
DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC.
COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff, KATHLEEN KILLEA , by and through her undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., and alleges the following:
1. This action is brought to obtain relief for discrimination committed by Defendant against Plaintiff on the basis of Plaintiff’s handicap.
2. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney’s fees but not exceeding Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000).
3. The unlawful practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
4. Plaintiff resided in Brevard County, Florida, at all times material hereto.
5. Defendant, DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., is a national retail chain, doing business in the State of Florida, which at the time of the acts complained of herein employed 15 or more persons and was engaged in retail sales.
6. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant, DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., on or about October 2001 and was forced to resign by Defendant on or about April 3, 2002.
7. At all times, Plaintiff performed all duties assigned to her in a professionally competent manner, faithfully followed all reasonable instructions given to her by her supervisors, and abided by all the rules and regulations of Defendant.
8. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer grave and severe damage to her financial welfare, and her employment prospects, by reason of Defendant’s discriminatory actions against Plaintiff.
9. Plaintiff has suffered severe mental anguish and emotional distress as a result of Defendant’s actions.
10. Plaintiff has retained the undersigned attorney and agreed to pay him a reasonable fee.
11. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies prior to bringing this action.
12. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
14. Plaintiff filed a formal Charge of Discrimination with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and more than 180 days have expired without the FCHR making a determination on Plaintiff’s charge, a copy of which is attached to this complaint as Exhibit A.
15. On or about April 3, 2002 Plaintiff was forced to resign her employment with Defendant due to the severe and extreme harassment to which she was subjected by Defendant’s management employees.
16. Plaintiff had: (a) one or more disabilities, i.e. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited one or more of the major life activities of Plaintiff; (b) a record of such an impairment; or (c) was regarded as having such an impairment.
17. In spite of her disability, Plaintiff was able to perform all of the essential functions of her position.
18. Defendant subjected Plaintiff, who is handicapped, being hearing impaired, to a hostile work environment while she was employed with Defendant, by;
A. Making malicious and harmful statements to Plaintiff concerning her
B. Subjecting Plaintiff to ridicule and embarrassment by making derogatory
statements to Plaintiff in front of her co-workers and customers concerning Plaintiff’s disability.
C. Calling Plaintiff names, making derogatory comments about her disability,
and otherwise talking to Plaintiff in an offensive manner.
D. Forcing Plaintiff’s resignation of her employment by the willful and intentional harassment of Plaintiff by its management employees.
19. In subjecting Plaintiff to a hostile work environment and forcing the resignation of Plaintiff’s employment, the Defendant, DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of her handicap.
20. In subjecting Plaintiff to a hostile work environment and by forcing the resignation of Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant violated Chapter 760, Florida Statutes which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual with a handicap, with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s disability.
21. In subjecting Plaintiff to a hostile work environment, Defendant engaged in a discriminatory practice with malice and reckless indifference to the statutorily protected rights of Plaintiff.
22. Proximately and directly as a result of Defendant discriminating against Plaintiff on account of her handicap, Plaintiff has suffered damages consisting of severe emotional distress, loss of salary and other compensation.
23. The conduct of Defendant, DOLLAR TREE STORES, INC., complained of herein was willful, malicious, oppressive, wanton and in complete disregard of the rights of Plaintiff.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for:
A. Judgment for her back pay, including all sums of money Plaintiff would have earned, together with such other increases to which she would be entitled, had she not been discriminatorily discharged;
B. Compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary loss.
C. Front pay.
D. Punitive Damages.
E. An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and all costs incurred herein.
F. Such other damages and relief as may be just and proper.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.
Dated this ____ day of _________________________, 2003
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
WAYNE L. ALLEN & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
PHONE: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681
Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Date Filed: 01/10/2003
Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout "the Space Coast", including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.