In the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case of Olick, Thomas W.; In re (Olick v. Kearney, et al) the bankruptcy court ruled that the debtor’s former employer was liable to him for damages resulting from the debtor’s termination.
The details of the bankruptcy case:
In February 2006, the debtor filed a discrimination lawsuit against his employer and supervisor alleging that they reduced his sales territory as an insurance field agent because of his age. Afterwards, the debtor received a COBRA notice from his employer stating that both his employment and his family’s health insurance were being terminated retroactively to November 1, 2005.
In response, the debtor added the insurance carrier to the complaint along with a charge of retaliation and filed a second lawsuit January 2007. On February 6, 2007, the debtor filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a few days later dismissed his lawsuits and filed two adversary proceedings against his employer and the insurance carrier with the bankruptcy court.
In this 71-page opinion, the court found that the employer violated COBRA by sending the debtor a notice in which the “qualifying event” was backdated. The court also found that the employer retaliated against the debtor in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by backdating the effective date of his termination. The court ruled that the debtor was entitled to statutory damages against the employer, but had no claim against the supervisor. The court awarded the debtor $14,997. Because the debtor proceeded pro se, he was not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees. He was entitled to recover his reasonable costs.