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Commercial lawsuits.

The following lawsuits involving local businesses have been filed in Chelan County Superior Court. Plaintiff is listed first. Readers are cautioned that claims in these actions have not been proven; they are alleged to be causes for actions and their truth will be determined at trial.

Jose Quezada v. City of Entiat and Susan Driver

Jose Quezada was let go from his job with the city of Entiat. Represented by East Wenatchee attorney Corey Kane of Lacy Kane PS, he filed a lawsuit in Chelan County Superior Court on Feb. 22 claiming the dismissal was race discrimination, breach of contract and violation of public policy, listing as defendants the city and Susan Driver, the city administrator/planner.

In the lawsuit, Quezada claims he was enticed to leave a prior job to accept post in Entiat, with promises of a secure position and promotion. Instead, he was discharged. He seeks past and future lost wages, special and general damages, attorney fees and costs and further relief as the court may deem appropriate.

A notice of appearance on behalf of the defendants had not been filed.

Elly Gellatly and Marvin Gellatly v. Cordell, Neher & Company, Jeff Neher and Kristine S. Loomis

Elly Gellatly, 53, worked at Cordell, Neher & Company (and its predecessors) for 19 years. She was fired on May 12, 2015.

In a lawsuit filed in Chelan County Superior Court on March 3, 2016, she claims disability discrimination and is seeking economic and non-economic damages, attorney fees and costs and other relief as the court deems equitable and just.

She is represented by Ephrata attorneys Gerald Moberg and Patrick Moberg.

In the court documents, Gellatly said she sustained neck and upper back injuries in a boating accident in 2011, which left her in pain, making it difficult to comfortably perform her duties at Cordell, Neher & Associates. The company allowed her to cut back to 30 hours a week while she convalesced, but she continued to have pain. In 2015, her doctors recommended surgery and she shared the news with her employers in April, seeking time off for the surgery, which was scheduled in mid-July.

On May 12, just days before she was to leave for a scheduled vacation for a trip to Taiwan, she was called to a meeting with company partners Jeff Neher and Kristine Loomis, who said they believed it was time for her to go on social security disability. She responded that she did not want to do that because the surgery, if successful, would make her 90 percent better. Neher and Loomis then proceeded to read a prepared termination letter and handed her a form, which, when signed, would release the company from liability for wrongful termination and included information that she would have health insurance through Aug. 21. She was given 21 days to sign, though Neher and Loomis knew she was leaving for Taiwan in a few days.

She did not get back into town from the trip until May 30 and did not sign the form. On June 4, she received a letter from Loomis stating her health insurance was being cancelled June 1. She did not receive a COBRA notice until June 12.

In the lawsuit claiming she was terminated because of the disability, Gellatly is seeking lost wages, earnings and benefits and damages for emotional stress.

A notice of appearance on behalf of the defendants was filed March 14 by attorney Brian A. Walker of Ogden Murphy Wallace.

Josefina Toledo v. Custom Apple Packers

Josefina Toledo was hired as a fruit packer by Custom Apple Packers on Sept. 22, 2004. In 2006, she started operating and maintaining sticker machines. In 2008, she moved into doing inventory and continued at that until 2014. In May that year, she moved back into performing general labor, which included sorting and packing fruit. On Sept. 13, 2014, she was packing fruit when she felt an intense pain in her right shoulder and neck. She talked to her supervisor and then went to the hospital for treatment, which resulted in filing a worker's compensation claim in connection with the work injury.

She was assigned light duty as a sorter for a period of time, but felt pressured to return to her regular duties despite the doctor's orders. On Sept. 4, 2015, she was assigned a light duty job of GMP monitoring (monitoring employees using the restroom), placing sticker labels on bags and dewaxing fruit.

The workers' compensation claim was closed on Sept. 22, 2015, and was appealed by her doctors in October and November. She was put back on the sorting line, however, in November, where she worked until, on Dec. 7, she was fired because of concerns related to her physical restrictions.

In a lawsuit filed March 14, 2016, in Chelan County Superior Court, Toledo claims wrongful termination, disability discrimination and retaliation. She is seeking past and future lost wages, special and general damages, attorney fees, costs, interest and other as the court deems appropriate. She is represented by attorney Nicholas Smith of Lacy Kane PS.

No response by the defendant had been filed.
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Title Annotation:Fresh Business
Publication:Wenatchee Business Journal
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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