Former Corinth schools employee awarded $100,000 in damages

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By JB Clark

Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – A former Corinth School District employee was awarded $100,000 by a federal court jury Tuesday.

Alfred Newcomb was fired from his position as a maintenance worker and school bus driver less than two months after suffering a serious, off-duty injury Aug. 3, 2010.

In the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Newcomb claimed he is due 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and was denied that job protection when he was terminated Sept. 23, 2010.

The jury returned the $100,000 verdict Tuesday, after two days of testimony and arguments from either side.

Each side will have an opportunity to ask the judge to increase or decrease the damages awarded by the jury.

Jim Waide, attorney for Newcomb, said his client will request U.S. Chief District Judge Sharion Aycock increase the awarded damages since he believes the firing was done in bad faith.

The school district has claimed the firing was done in good faith outside of any reasons that would coincide with the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Waide said Newcomb lost around $70,000 in wages in the time it took the case to go to trial but was able to find some work in the meantime.

Representatives for the Corinth School District have not returned phone calls at this time.

jb.clark@journalinc.com