Louisiana Record

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Worker sues Bridge City Center for Youth, alleging wrongful firing

By Hanna Nakano | Oct 7, 2015

A Jefferson woman injured on the job is suing her employer, alleging she was fired when she told her boss her injuries required surgery.

LaKeisha Cortorreal filed a lawsuit Sept. 28 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against the Bridge City Center for Youth, Louisiana State Office of Juvenile Justice and former managers Mark LaBouchardiere and Angela Sutton, alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint, shortly after being hired by Bridge Center, Cortorreal was injured on the job in early 2014, causing limited mobility in her left knee and back. The suit says Bridge City Center reviewed the incident and found one of the youths responsible. As a result of the injury, Cortorreal says she has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

After the injury Cortorreal was hired as an assistant by LaBouchardiere, whom the suit alleges was aware of Cortorreal’s need for accommodation with lifting and moving heavy objects.

The lawsuit states LaBouchardiere ignored the need for those accommodations and required her to lift and carry heavy computer equipment and cases water, even after she communicated her injury.

Cortorreal says she told LaBouchardiere in an email and in conversation that she may need surgery. The suit says he responded, “That’s not good.”

On Aug. 7,  2014, upon arriving at work, Cortorreal was met in the parking lot by a non-administrative employee who handed her a letter saying she “did not meet the needs of the agency at this time,” the suit says.

Cortorreal seeks punitive damages, attorney fees and other costs under the Americans with Disabilities Act, all damages available under the Civil Rights Act and further relief the court deems proper. She is represented by attorney Cherie E. Teamer and Channing J. Warner in Harvey.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-04822-MLCF-KWR.

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