Court of Appeals overturns dismissal of workers comp retaliation claim
Raymond Cuddington worked for 12 years for United Health Services. After a minor motor vehicle collision at work, Cuddington experienced back pain and trouble getting out of bed the next morning. He called in to report at 9:02 a.m. that he would be unable to work and was making a doctor's appointment. He was fired.
The trial court dismissed his wrongful retaliation claim against United Health Services, holding that since Cuddington was fired before he turned in a comp claim, he couldn't allege retaliation. The Court of Appeals reversed this absurd result, although it did hold that the employer had raised a legitimate defense to a retaliation claim based upon Cuddington's alleged violation of a work rule requiring a pre-9 a.m. phone call in. It will be up to the jury to decide which version of the facts it believes.