Jon Campisi Jul. 12, 2013, 8:49am


A suburban Philadelphia man is seeking $150,000 in damages from his former employer

as a result of what he claims was an age related job termination.

John P. Deane, who resides in Ambler, Montgomery County, is suing the Fort Washington-based Manufacturers Golf & Country Club over allegations that he was fired from his 15-year job as a mechanic in the greens department because of his age.

The plaintiff, who is in his late 50s, and began working as a full-time employee for the defendant back in February 1998, was let go this past February.

He asserts that his years-long employment was not marred by any disciplinary action, and that he was well regarded by managers and his colleagues.

Nevertheless, the country club fired him earlier this year in what Deane claims was a discriminatory move.

According to the complaint, a man identified as Larry Cour, who is believed to be in his 30s or early 40s, became Deane’s supervisor when Cour was promoted to the position of golf course superintendent two summers ago.

“Once Cour became Plaintiff Deane’s supervisor, Cour began a deliberate campaign to document alleged poor work performance to attempt to create a paper trail to justify a preconceived decision to terminate Deane’s employment and replace him with a substantially younger employee,” the lawsuit reads.

Court and Director of Outside Operations Lisa Barton soon began to regularly blame Deane for all breakdowns and problems at the greens department, many of which the plaintiff had discovered on his own and for which he had recommended solutions, but to no avail, the lawsuit claims.

The complaint goes on to list various other ways in which the managers allegedly discriminated against Deane, including once blaming the plaintiff for mechanical issues with a truck that Deane claims he advised the company not to purchase in the first place.

On Feb. 4 of this year, Deane was told he was being fired because he failed to maintain an effective preventive maintenance program for the equipment and vehicles at the golf club, the lawsuit states.

“Defendant Manufacturers’ attempts to create a paper trail to attempt to justify the termination of Plaintiff Deane’s employment culminated in false accusations regarding the truck, which Deane had advised Manufacturers it never should have purchased and could never be properly maintained,” the suit reads.

The complaint alleges that Deane’s termination was in reality motivated by the golf club’s desire to get rid of older employees and replace them with “substantially” younger ones.

The suit says that all current members of the greens department at the golf club are much younger than the plaintiff.

After his termination, Deane was replaced by a 31-year-old worker, the complaint states.

The lawsuit says that the defendant’s actions were “willful and outrageous in that its motives and conduct as set forth above were malicious, wanton, reckless and oppressive.”

The plaintiff accuses the defendant of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Deane seeks more than $150,000 in compensatory damages, which includes front and back pay, interest, and liquidated damages.

Attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees and other litigation costs are also sought.

Deane is being represented by Montgomery County employment attorney Andrew S. Abramson, who filed the suit on his client’s behalf July 10 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-03995-LFR. 

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