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Chronic fatigue firing upheld, damages out

June 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM

OTTAWA, June 27 (UPI) -- Canada's Supreme Court issued a split opinion Friday wiping out punitive damages to a Honda Canada employee who was fired based on his chronic fatigue syndrome.

In a 7-2 ruling, the judges absolved Honda from paying $100,000 in damages to Kevin Keays, a 14-year employee at the company's plant in Aliston, Ontario, the Globe and Mail reported.

Keays sued the company on human rights grounds after being fired in May 2000 and was awarded $500,000 punitive damages plus legal fees. The Ontario Court of Appeal reduced the punitive amount to $100,000.

Keays was off work for much of the time from October 1996 until December 1998 and was then cut off long-term disability benefits, the report said.

The high court ruling said Honda's handling of the dismissal -- including company physicians' assessments -- "was not sufficiently egregious or outrageous to warrant an award of punitive damages."

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