Last month, a suspended police lieutenant filed a tort claim against his former employer, the borough of Franklin, New Jersey. The lieutenant is seeking not only reinstatement, but $4 million in compensation for the emotional pain and humiliation caused by his suspension.
After working with the police force for 18 years, the lieutenant was suspended with pay in August 2018 for a variety of charges, including a failed drug test, insubordination, and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
The department suspended him without pay in January with the intent to terminate him in February. The lieutenant’s tort calls the allegations against him discrimination and claims they interfere with his future economic prospects by placing him in a “false light.” The Borough declined to comment on the tort claim.
Tort claim against Franklin Borough
At the time of his suspension last summer, the lieutenant was the most senior ranking officer in the department and next in line for the role of police chief. He alleges two senior officers conspired to falsify allegations against him to ruin his reputation and sabotage his promotion.
He says that while these officers knew he was being treated for low testosterone and would test positive for the drug, they tested him anyway, and used the results as proof of a failed drug test.
Through his attorney, the lieutenant says his drug levels were within the normal range of someone being treated for his condition. His attorney adds that per protocol, disciplinary actions against the lieutenant were referred to the County Prosecutor’s Office, and they have since found “nothing criminal and decided there would be no prosecution.”
Understanding Tort Claims
Tort claims are filed to pursue compensation for injuries from the person who committed the wrongful act against the victim. The “injuries” are not always physical. Injuries covered by torts can also be emotional and financial. With tort claims, the plaintiff is required to prove the defendant’s actions caused their damages or injuries.
The lieutenant’s tort claim acted as notice, making the Borough aware of his intention to sue the municipality. The notice was sent to six separate borough officials, including the former and current police chiefs. Losses named in the claim include “pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of back pay, loss of promotion, loss of future pay, attorney’s fees, return to job, (and) punitive damages.”
The borough is also currently facing another impending lawsuit brought by a second officer alleging discrimination and unlawful termination. His claim accuses several high-ranking officers of retaliation for previous grievances they had with his father, another local police officer. The borough declined to discuss the claims, saying they are not at liberty to discuss personnel matters.
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Protect Employee Rights
Workers have legal protection from unfair employment practices, including discrimination and wrongful termination. They also have the right to speak out against these actions without fear of retaliation. If you believe you have been fired without cause or otherwise penalized unfairly, contact the Middletown employment discrimination lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C..
We review every aspect of your situation, evaluate your case for potential claims, and explain all of the legal options available to you. You can move forward knowing you have a skilled advocate by your side. Our lawyers handle all types of employment discrimination claims including sexual harassment, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and more.
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