New Castle News

Closer Look

July 24, 2013

Mechanic files suit against transit authority

NEW CASTLE — A New Castle Area Transit Authority mechanic claims the agency has failed to provide a smoke-free environment.

A lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of Dale W. Doutt, 62, of West Middlesex states he suffers from high blood pressure, hypertension and sinus illness that “are  worsened by exposure to cigarette smoking for any period of time.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

Employed by the authority for about 10 years, Doutt has complained to management, including general manager Leonard Lastoria, since Aug. 29, 2008, that his co-workers and foreman are smoking cigarettes during work hours and in a variety of locations at the Mahoning Avenue plant, leaving him with no smoke-free area to work, according to the suit.

The authority, through its foreman and co-workers, retailiated against him by “yelling” at him, issuing written warnings criticizing his work performance and treating him as an outcast since he filed the complaint with management and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the suit notes.

The retaliation has adversely affected his health and ability to perform his duties at work, the suit says.

Doutt claims the authority discriminated against him because he suffers from a disability within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the authority has refused to enforce its no-smoking policy.

He is seeking lost wages/benefits, compensation for personal harm, injury and compensatory damages for humiliation, embarrassment and loss of self esteem, punitive damages and legal costs.

Lastoria declined comment on the lawsuit.

Attorney Louis Perrotta, the authority’s solicitor, said, “There is no merit to the complaint and the transit authority will vigorously defend this matter.”

He said both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission dismissed the complaint. The EEOC issued a right to sue letter.

Perrotta said the authority’s policy permits smoking only on the outside of the plant.

He said the complaint has been forwarded to the authority’s insurance consortium, “and they’ll advise us.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • bridgerepair.jpg PennDOT seeks outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GALLO_Natalie.jpg County native plays Clinton intern

    Natalie Gallo isn’t an intern, but she’s playing one on the New York stage.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Coroner: Shooting victim hit by two bullets

    An autopsy revealed a Detroit area man killed in an Ellwood City shootout had suffered two gunshot wounds. Only one was a fatal hit.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage