- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - A mine mechanic who was fired from Solvay Chemicals Inc. in August 2008 has won an $865,000 judgment in a lawsuit in which he accused the company of using an alleged safety violation as an excuse to fire him because managers and co-workers were frustrated with the amount of work he missed due to a 1994 neck injury.

Steven Smothers’ absences were protected under the Family Medical Leave Act.

A District Court judge initially granted summary judgment in favor of Solvay and Smothers appealed. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said there were issues of fact for a jury to decide.

The Rocket-Miner reports (https://bit.ly/1u9VrVG ) a jury heard the case in July and found in favor of Smothers on his FMLA claim.

District Judge Nancy Freudenthal reports Smothers was awarded $865,000 for back pay and lost benefits, interest and attorney fees.

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Information from: Rock Springs (Wyo.) Rocket-Miner, https://www.rocketminer.com

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