Lawsuit against WKU dismissed in court


A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2010 against WKU.

The plaintiff, Joe Martin, a former WKU boiler operator, filed claims that he was unjustly terminated from his position after applying for workers’ compensation following a work-related injury. Martin also filed claims against Sodexo, Inc., which manages the department where he worked.

All the claims were dismissed Tuesday as a part of a summary judgment.

According to court documents, Martin initially filed a workers’ compensation claim in 2009 after suffering a knee injury.

Martin was released by his doctor to continue work at WKU, but later presented the university with a letter stating restrictions on his knee’s activities were permanent.

WKU reviewed whether Martin could continue with his job and dismissed him after looking for other available positions.

In the ruling, John Grise, Warren Circuit Court judge, said Martin had very little evidence to support any of his claims.

“Even when viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, and resolving all doubts in his favor, there are still no genuine issues of material fact,” Grise said in his summary judgment.

Deborah Wilkins, WKU’s chief of staff and general counsel, said she was pleased with the ruling.

“There was not enough there to give to the jury,” Wilkins said. “There’s no evidence of retaliation. And on the last two — the emotional distress and civil conspiracy — he had absolutely nothing. No testimony. Nothing. It was a pretty straightforward case.”

Wilkins said Martin has 30 days to submit an appeal but doubts he will.