An amputee who is a former employee of a prosthetics company in Ashland is suing his former employer in federal court, alleging disability and age discrimination.
Michael Chaffin of Huntington, W.Va., had been a prosthetist for Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics for about eight years, according to the lawsuit filed Oct. 5 in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky.
In November 2007,Chaffin injured his right knee, the lawsuit states. He had surgery the following February and returned to work shortly thereafter.
Chaffin, whose left leg is amputated at the knee, says in the lawsuit that his company did not extend the same benefits to him as to other employees and did not make reasonable accommodations after he returned to work from surgery.
"Plaintiff was discriminated against and ultimately terminated wholly or partially as a result of his real or perceived disability," the lawsuit states.
Chaffin also says he was discriminated against because of his age. He was older than 50 when he was fired, according to the lawsuit.
Hanger denies that the company discriminated against Chaffin. Hanger's actions "were taken for legitimate business reasons" and "justified by business necessity," according to the company's response.
Chaffin is seeking compensatory damages for lost wages, future lost wages, lost benefits, future lost benefits, mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment and emotional distress. He also is seeking punitive damages and injunctive relief.
Attorneys for Chaffin and Hanger did not return calls seeking comment.