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Manufacturing Plant Pays $15M After Terminating Employee of 15 Years Suffering From Multiple Work-Related Injuries

On August 30, 2017, Los Angeles Superior Court ordered Snap-On Logistics to pay Cesar Astorga $15,000,000 after three weeks of trial.

Mr. Astorga worked for Snap-On Logistics since January 1996 until his termination on April 21, 2011. He has suffered from multiple work-related injuries over the 15 years of his employment, two of the most serious injuries include falling off a scissor lift which injured both of his knees and a 100-pound motor falling on top of him. He had seven knee surgeries, $275,000 of which was covered by his employer.

As a result of the first injury and treatments, Mr. Astorga was on leave from 2002 to 2003 for a total of 9 ½ months. After the second injury, Ms. Astorga was again on leave on and off from April 2009 through February 2011 for about 13.5 months. Mr. Astorga informed his supervisor that he needed another surgery and leave of absence in April 2011.

In retaliation, Mr. Astorga was allegedly demoted from his supervisory position during his last leave of absence and was told by his supervisor that Snap-On would not pay him a full paycheck when he was only half a man. The reason for Mr. Astorga’s termination was allegedly not explained to him, but he was told that he had been found guilty.

During the trial, Snap-On revealed that Mr. Astorga was fired for allegedly soliciting bribes from outside contractors. One of the contractors was called to deposition and denied the accusations. This left conflicting testimonies from his supervisor and the company controller’s that Mr. Astorga had been accepting bribes.

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