Ex-UPS Driver in New York Claims Big Brown Fired Him Because He Has Cancer

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A veteran UPS driver at the company's facility near JFK Airport in New York claims in a federal discrimination lawsuit that the company fired him after he informed them that he has stage 3 colon cancer. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C.

A driver at United Parcel Services' Springfield Gardens, NY, facility claims in a federal court lawsuit that Big Brown fired him because he has cancer.

Thomas Messina, 57, of Levittown, claims in his lawsuit that UPS, where he was employed for 13 years, illegally fired him just days after he informed the parcel delivery company that he was undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital for stage 3 colon cancer.

The suit, filed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip (Index No. 09-CV-3918), alleges that Messina's firing was unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008. Messina filed a formal administrative complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and received a Right to Sue letter on April 20. He is undergoing radiation treatments and chemotherapy to fight the cancer.

"This is a classic case of disability discrimination," said Messina's lawyer, Len Leeds, a partner in the Carle Place law firm Leeds, Morelli & Brown P.C. "This is outrageous."

Leeds noted that amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law earlier this year by President Obama more broadly define disabilities and makes it easier to bring cases such as Messina's.

"Not only did UPS not attempt to make a reasonable accomodation for Mr. Messina, but it actually terminated him while he was getting cancer treatments," Leeds added.

Also named in the suit, which seeks lost pay and unspecified damages, is Messina's manager at UPS, Benjamin Zmigrodski.

A jury trial has been requested.

Len Leeds
Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C.
(516) 873-9550


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