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Case Style: Kathryn Jezwinski v. City of Jacksonville
Case Number: 4:08-cv-04211-JMM
Judge: James M. Moody
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Pulaski County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Robert A. Newcomb, Law Office of Robert A. Newcomb, Little Rock, Arkansas
Defendant's Attorney: Robert E. Bamburg, Jacksonville, Arkansas and John Lennon Wilkerson, Arkansas Municipal League, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Description: Kathryn Jezwinski sued City of Jacksonville, Arkansas on a wrongful termination theory pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1361 under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act claiming that she was fired from her job as the Deputy Clerk of the City after the told Clerk Susan Davitt that she was probably going to be deployed as part of her military service.
Plaintiff claimed that in July 2006 she joined the Arkansas Air National Guard. Upon learning that Plaintiff had joined the National Guard, Defendant Davitt because upset with her for having done so and made statements including but not limited to "females should not join the military." While in basic training, Plaintiff was injured and her active duty time was extended by orders because she need to recover from a knee injury. When Plaintiff brought the orders extending her active duty time to the City of Jacksonville, the Human Resource Director asked Plaintiff to come back to work because she was not having to perform active duty owrk, and became upset when Plaintiff explained she could not work for the City while on active duty orders.
Plaintiff claimed that she was fired for false reasons claiming that she intentionally looked at the votes being cast by voters on the annexation election when in fact the placement of the voting machines made it impossible for her not to see the ballots when she looked up from the desk.
When Plaintiff returned to work, Davitt gave her no training on changed procedures and stated that Plaintiff didn't know how to do her job and attempted to force Plaintiff to quit by making her working conditions intolerable.
Plaintiff claimed that as a direct and proximate result of being retaliated against for joining the military and protesting her earlier treatment by Davitt, she was terminated with a loss of pay, loss of retirement benefits, loss of health insurance, loss of life insurance, and emotion stress.
Plaintiff sought punitive damages from Defendants.
The defenses asserted by Defendants are not available.
Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $95,000.00.