Former firefighter loses lawsuit against Rutland
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RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) -- A former Rutland firefighter has lost his
latest discrimination lawsuit against the city.
Superior Court Judge Richard Norton granted the city's motion
for summary judgment against Raymond Gallipo while dismissing a
counterclaim by the city.
The decision was the latest chapter in a long-running legal
battle between Gallipo and the city. It began after Gallipo was
passed over for promotion in 1985.
Gallipo sued the city in 1988, claiming the promotion should
have been his as the senior member of the department. He claimed he
was discriminated against because he is an "openly religious
person" and because he is dyslexic.
Gallipo eventually won the case, and in 1995 a jury awarded him
$507,000.
The latest lawsuit, filed in 1998, claimed the department
retaliated against Gallipo after his court victory.
Gallipo claimed he was singled out during a videotaped training
exercise and unfairly depicted in the tape. He left and never
returned to work, according to court documents.
Court records did not identify the trainer involved in that
incident.
Gallipo filed a workers' compensation claim for anxiety as a
result of the event, but the claim was denied by the Department of
Labor and Industry. However, an interim award of two-thirds of his
salary was ordered in 1997 until the extent of his injuries could
be determined.
Gallipo claimed the city fire department deliberately filed his
claim late and conducted a biased, drawn-out investigation. The
city filed a motion for summary judgment in 2002, saying Gallipo's
claims were vague and lacked a factual basis, and that the state
labor commissioner had already found no merit to Gallipo's claims.
In his ruling, issued late last month, Norton found Gallipo
"did not suffer a compensable stress-related injury arising out of
the course of his employment." The city had claimed Gallipo should
return the workers' compensation he was awarded in 1997. Norton
denied that motion.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)