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January 26, 2023

EY Sued By Man Claiming He Was Disabled Due to Pending Ulcer, High Blood Pressure

UPDATE: This case has been settled. Details below.

Christopher Cotter is a 52-year-old Houston man who “suffers from peptic inflammatory disease and labile hypertension," according to a complaint filed against the Big 4 firm formerly known as Ernst & Young in a Southern District of Texas court on August 5th. In layman's terms, he has stomach problems and high blood pressure — conditions which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

Cotter worked for EY as a SAP manager from March 2012 – August 2013 until he was fired after a discrimination claim.

From the Southeast Texas Record:

Cotter says the defendant [EY] knew about his disabilities because he submitted medical documentation and requested he be allowed to fly business class on a work trip to China. Cotter says Ernst & Young denied the request “without any reason and sent a younger, less experienced, non-disabled employee” instead.

According to the complaint, Cotter filed a formal complaint for discrimination and was told by company’s HR department that he would be allowed to fly business class on future flights. Cotter says he was fired by Ernst & Young a short time later. He contends his job was terminated in retaliation for the discrimination complaint.

Cotter claims his medical condition never affected his attendance or level of performance at Ernst & Young. He accuses the company of disability discrimination, age discrimination, retaliation and violations of the Texas Labor Code.

According to article above, Cotter's doctor "instructed him to avoid stress and not to sit in a confined space for longer than four hours." A flight from Houston to Beijing is nearly 15 hours.

Cotter seeks an unspecified amount of monetary compensation for past and future wages, lost benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages and liquidated damages and, naturally, court costs.

UPDATE, June 3, 2016: Again, from the SE Texas Record:

Court records show an agreed motion to dismiss with prejudice was filed March 13, 2015. On March 27 an agreed order of dismissal with prejudice was entered in the record.

In regards to the lawsuit, Cotter gave the following statement: “After working with his General Practioner, Otolaryngologist and Gastroenterologist over the last two years, Mr. Cotter has made a complete recovery concerning his ‘peptic inflammatory disease and labile hypertension.’ This has been accomplished through medication and therapy.

“Mr. Cotter was awarded a cash Settlement, by Ernst and Young, during the case Arbitration process in January, 2015.”

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