October, 2014 | The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan

Meteorologist sues TV station, claiming age and disability discrimination

A Texas television station’s chief meteorologist has sued his former employer, claiming age and disability discrimination.

Bob French has filed the federal discrimination lawsuit against KBTX in College Station and Bryan. He has also claimed retaliation, harassment and violations of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

French alleges that during the 2012 holidays, he was forced to work additional hours while younger staff members were given time off. He claims that the overwork led him to seek medical treatment for exhaustion and depression in 2013 under the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

According to the lawsuit, KBTX advertised an open meteorologist position during the time that French was on protected medical leave. French claims that when he returned to work, he was reprimanded and soon replaced by a meteorologist who was under 40 years of age and did not have a disability.

According to the lawsuit, French had worked for the station for 23 years, and his employment was governed by a written contract that stated that he could not be fired without cause. French said that none of the reasons given for his firing constituted proper cause.

French previously filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission, alleging discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC completed an investigation in May, clearing the way for the lawsuit to be filed.

Texas billionaire sues real estate company for fraud over unpaid loans

Energy magnate T. Boone Pickens has filed a lawsuit in Texas state court against realtor Gannon Properties and its affiliates, accusing the company and its principal of fraud over $4.1 million in unpaid loans.

According to the lawsuit, Pickens won a previous case against Gannon and its principal, William Franke, over two unpaid promissory notes amounting to $4.1 million. The current lawsuit accuses Franke of improperly transferring portions of the company to his wife through other entities, in what the suits claims was an attempt to avoid paying the debt.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act, conspiracy and tortious interference with contract.

The lawsuit claims that the original promissory notes were issued by PlainsCapital Bank to Gannon Joint Venture LP, and that Pickens purchased the loan in 2013. After a repayment dispute, Pickens won a lawsuit against Gannon.

According to the current suit, six months after the ruling in Pickens’ favor, Franke transferred his interest in Gannon to his wife in an attempt to avoid his legal obligations. The lawsuit also claims that Franke and the company used the corporate structure improperly, failing to document transactions or keep independent records. Furthermore, Franke and Gannon allegedly used one another’s bank accounts and funds as their own.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees and an injunction preventing further transfers of assets.

Texas letter carrier sues Postal Service alleging discrimination

A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, claiming discrimination.

Kimberly L. Cox filed the lawsuit in federal court in Texas on August 4, citing civil rights violations, after her employment was terminated following a work injury. Patrick R. Donahoe, as Postmaster General, is also named as a defendant.

According to the lawsuit, Cox worked as a letter carrier for the Kilgore Post Office. She claims that in July and August of 2012, she reported to Postmaster McQuiston alleged instances of discrimination against white employees by a black supervisor, but McQuiston took no action.

Cox also claims that on August 21, 2012, she sustained on-the-job injuries after tripping on a curb. Cox claims that she had three days of sick leave, but was then told to report to work and was made to sit in a room for eight hours per day. 

According to the complaint, Cox was scheduled to be off work on August 30, 2012, and she attended an estate sale, where McQuiston observed her and subsequently asked the Office of the Inspector General to investigate whether Cox exceeded her medical restrictions. On August 31, 2012, Cox claims that McQuiston placed her on emergency leave. She claims that her employment was terminated in November 2012.

The lawsuit alleges gender and race discrimination and retaliation. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. Cox seeks damages and attorney’s fees.

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