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Caffarelli & Siegel Prevails in FMLA Jury Trial Cuff v. Trans States Holdings, Inc., et al

Caffarelli & Siegel Ltd. recently obtained a judgment in the case of Cuff v. Trans States Holdings, Inc., et al. Mr. Cuff alleged that his former employer, Trans States Holding, unlawfully denied his request for FMLA leave and retaliated against him. Mr. Cuff suffers from bipolar disorder and Crohn’s Disease. In late 2009, Mr. Cuff experienced flare-ups in his conditions, and after consulting with his physician, he informed his supervisors that he needed to take FMLA leave. Rather than approve Mr. Cuff’s FMLA request as it had in the past, the Company denied his request, claiming that it did not employ enough employees to qualify as an “employer” under the FMLA. Not wanting to lose his job, Mr. Cuff attempted to continue working. However, by late December 2009, Mr. Cuff realized he could not continue working without seriously jeopardizing his health. Thus, Mr. Cuff followed the advice of his doctor and took his physician-recommended FMLA leave. Defendants subsequently designated Mr. Cuff’s absences as unexcused and fired him.

In October 2011 Judge Leinenweber granted Mr. Cuff’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Trans States Holdings interfered with Mr. Cuff’s right to FMLA leave. In February 2012, a two day jury trial was held to determine damages. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found that had Defendants properly granted FMLA leave to Mr. Cuff, he would have returned to work. Accordingly, the jury awarded damages to Mr. Cuff.