Siouxland woman wins $2.2 million lawsuit against former employer

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A woman has won more than $2 million in a lawsuit against her former employer, saying they discriminated against her and wrongfully fired her.

Susan Boutwell, 62, was favored in court on October 19 during a lawsuit against Siouxland Women’s Health Care PC. As a result of the verdict, Boutwell is expected to receive $2,257,595 with interest. She sued them for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and age discrimination.

According to court documents, Boutwell was working at Women’s Health Care when she was fired after sustaining a work injury in 2017. She had been working there since 1990, and after her injury, her doctor established work restrictions for her in February 2018. Siouxland Women’s Health Care accommodated her and her restrictions from February to April 2018

Boutwell was scheduled to have surgery in mid-April, and in early April, she was notified she would be fired. She requested to work within her work restrictions, documents said, but they refused. When she was fired, the company had already hired another, younger employee, but Boutwell said she was protected under the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, with the organization issuing her a Right-to-Sue Letter.

Documents said Boutwell could still perform her job with restrictions and stated her employer criticized her in front of others. It alleged they allowed coworkers to make comments about her injury and work restrictions. She also said her job disciplined her for the work restrictions and her age, which was 59 at the time.

The lawsuit documents said the incident caused her emotional distress and wage loss along with employee benefits.

As part of her verdict, a jury determined that Boutwell should be awarded more than $160,000 for lost wages from date of discharge to present, more than $347,000 for future lost wages, $500,000 for past emotional pain and suffering, and $250,000 for future pain and suffering. The jury also determined $1 million as punitive damages.

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