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February 11, 2014

Transit lawsuit settlement reached

NEW CASTLE — A mechanic who filed a federal lawsuit against the New Castle Area Transit Authority has reached a settlement.

Dale W. Doutt of West Middlesex has settled for $32,500, according to a release issued by the authority.

Doutt’s lawsuit, filed in July 2013, claimed that co-workers were smoking at the Mahoning Avenue plant, leaving him with no smoke-free area to work. He suffers from high blood pressure, hypertension and sinus illness that are worsened by exposure to cigarette smoke, the suit claimed.

He said the authority had refused to enforce its no- smoking police and he had complained since 2008.

Doutt claimed that since he filed the complaint, his co-workers retaliated by “yelling” at him and issuing written warnings about his work. The retaliation, the lawsuit said, adversely affected his health and ability to perform his duties.

In addition to the lawsuit, he had filed complaints the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Under the settlement, Doutt, who left his job in October, agrees not to reapply for a position at the authority. The agreement also states that he releases and discharges any claims against the authority.

The agreement prohibits the authority from making any statement on the settlement. The matter was handled by the authority’s insurance carrier.

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