An injured worker is legally entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim without fear of retaliation by his employer. Sometimes, however, the employer decides to retaliate by firing the injured employee or by taking some other adverse action. When that happens, the law provides for a cause of action against the employer.
A Broward Circuit Court jury has leveled a $6 million verdict against United Parcel Service, finding that the company wrongfully fired a delivery truck driver from its Deerfield Beach office.
After a four-day trial, jurors needed less than three hours Friday to conclude that UPS unlawfully retaliated against John Thigpen, a 20-year employee, for pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. Thigpen received $669,661 in economic damages and $5.3 million in non-economic damages for the mental anguish he has suffered.
Thigpen’s legal team argued that the Pompano Beach man was fired after a UPS official sent a May 2001 e-mail directing supervisors to target “injury repeater[s].”
Thigpen, 45, had been injured seven times while with UPS, Adler said. He was fired in November 2001.