A federal court allowed a lawsuit by an injured Boeing Co. employee to proceed, ruling against the company’s summary judgment in a workplace malpractice case.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington sided Wednesday with Haythamani Hassan, who worked as an interior engineer for the company from 2011 to 2020.
Mr Hassan was paralyzed after contracting an infection on his honeymoon in 2015 and took a medical leave of absence until 2018.
In 2020, he filed a workers’ compensation claim alleging that his medical condition was aggravated by occupational exposure and work injury, but the claim was denied due to a lack of evidence that the injury was work-related.
Mr. Hassan and Boeing reached a settlement agreement following the compensation claim, and he sued Boeing for failure to accommodate his disability and for discriminatory and retaliatory termination.
Boeing moved for summary judgment, arguing that a decision by the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals denying Hassan̵7;s appeal of the compensation claim barred him from filing the lawsuit.
The federal court said summary judgment for Boeing is not warranted at this time because the earlier comp case is separate from the failure to comply charges.
The court said that employment discrimination claims are distinct from compensatory claims, and that while only compensatory damages are usually sustained, an exception allows recovery of damages if an employer acts with intent and disregards actual knowledge of a work injury.