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Company Ordered to Pay $300K for Worker’s Legal Fees After it Intentionally Drug Out Lawsuit

March 6, 2015 Family and Medical Leave Act Claims

Employer viciously went after ex-staffer who sued after being fired

You’d think that getting FMLA leave for a medical condition would be a relatively straight-forward matter, but that’s not always the case. Believe it or not, some employers take it upon themselves to make judgments about whether or not staffers “deserve” medical leave.

Worse, some employers may set out to financially ruin employees who attempt to fight for their rights.

However, as the case we’re about to discuss shows, having an experienced and diligent lawyer can be key to prevailing over companies that don’t abide by the law.

Company Played the Blame Game

Darren Cuff was a regional manager at Trans State Holdings.  He applied for FMLA because of a medical condition, but his employer refused to grant him leave.

Cuff took the time off anyway and was fired. He consulted an attorney and was advised to sue the company for interfering with his rights under FMLA.

The company fought back – and hard.

It argued that Cuff wouldn’t have needed medical leave if he’d been more conscientious about following his doctor’s instructions. The company also alleged that Cuff had had a sexual relationship with a subordinate, and that the medically prescribed narcotics he was on made him a safety risk on the job.

A Strategic and Patient Pursuit

However, Cuff’s lawyer continued to answer each motion and argument. When the case finally got to court, not only did Cuff’s attorney argue that he’d been unfairly fired, he argued that Trans Holdings had attempted to derail the court case in order to drive up costs and force Cuff to drop the case.

The company lost.  It was forced to pay nearly $50,000 in back pay, as well as over $300,000 in attorney’s fees.

The court pointed out that the “blunderbuss fashion” in which the company presented its case forced the employee’s attorney and the court to do additional work. Most of the company’s arguments, said the court, often amounted to nothing more than “hot air.”

(The case discussed here is Cuff v. Trans Holdings.)

Contact the Murphy Law Group Now for a Free Consultation

As this case shows, courts may have little patience for companies that attempt to use their deep pockets to intimidate employees who may have legitimate legal claims.

If you feel your rights have been violated on the job, it’s best to contact an attorney to determine if you have a viable case.

Email us at, or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation.