Saturday, November 26, 2016

Middle Township paid out $47,500 to settle EMT's wrongful discharge lawsuit.

On August 22, 2016, the Township of Middle (Cape May County) agreed to pay $47,500 to an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who claimed that she was fired after the Township refused to make accommodations for her work related back injury.

In her lawsuit, Ann Marie Camp said that she suffered a back injury on April 9, 2015 while lifting a patient who was suffering a cardiac emergency.  Camp alleged that she returned to work on "medium duty" but was fired on August 18, 2015 by Township Human Resources Director Vera Kalish because she could not yet work in a full duty capacity.  Camp said that her pleaded to be tranferred to another position, even if it meant less pay.  According to the lawsuit, Kalish told her that her request "was not open for discussion."

The case is captioned Camp v. Township of Middle, et al, Docket No. CPM-L-79-16 and Camp's attorney was Daniel M. Kurkowski of Cape May. Case documents are on-line here.

None of lawsuit's allegations have been proven or disproven in court.  Settlement agreements typically state that payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by any of the defendants.  All that is known for sure is that Middle or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Camp $47,500 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants' decision was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases resolve before trial--it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.