A former employee is suing the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Texas City, asserting he was fired shortly after his bosses asked him to cover up several health and safety violations.

John Woodcock filed the lawsuit against Marathon and its subsidiary, Blanchard Refining Company, on July 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, asserting the case in question involved more than $75,000 in damages.

Woodcock was a member of a union and worked on pumps at the facility that continuously leaked toxic gases, including hydrogen sulfide, the lawsuit asserts.

Woodcock reported the pumps were defective several times, but no one repaired them, the lawsuit asserts.

“Instead, the employer implemented an unfeasible personal protective equipment policy, which knowingly violated the Clean Air Act and other environmental, health and safety civil and criminal laws,” the lawsuit asserts.

The company required Woodcock to be a co-conspirator in knowingly releasing dangerous gasses, according to the lawsuit.

Woodcock refused to cooperate and was fired, according to the lawsuit.

Wayne Collins of Houston is representing Woodcock in the suit.

The defendants have not yet responded to the lawsuit, court records show.

AGE DISCRIMINATION

A Galveston County woman is seeking from $200,000 to $1 million in damages in an age discrimination suit against Houston-based Faust Distributing.

Betty Flisowski filed the lawsuit Monday in the 56th District Court, asserting she was terminated in August 2017 because of her age.

Flisowski had been employed by La Marque-based Dienst Distributing since August 1999 and joined Faust when it acquired the company in 2015, according to the lawsuit.

During her time with both companies, Flisowski had never received poor performance reviews, had received a pay raise in May 2017 and handled a co-worker’s responsibilities in July 2017, the lawsuit asserts.

Despite her work record, Faust officials posted her job on its website in about April 2017 and Flisowski received a phone call about an application for her job in July 2017, the lawsuit asserts.

Flisowski then emailed a representative of Faust about the issue and he told her they were considering another person but weren’t sure, the lawsuit asserts.

A co-worker in August 2017 learned Faust had hired a younger employee for the position and the company fired Flisowski two days later, according to the lawsuit.

Representatives then gave Flisowski differing accounts of why she lost her job, the lawsuit asserts.

The woman who replaced Flisowski was 31 years old, the lawsuit asserts.

Flisowski was 47 at the time, according to the lawsuit.

“Faust’s actions were in violation of the Texas Labor Code,” the lawsuit asserts.

Julie St. John and Rob Wiley are representing Flisowski, court records show.

The defendant has not yet responded to the lawsuit, court records show.

TRANSPORT PROBLEMS

A Galveston County woman is suing a medical transportation company and one of its employees in district court, asserting she was injured while being placed in a vehicle on the way to an appointment.

Charlene Verver filed suit against Spring-based S&P Medical Transportation and Willie Faye Thomas, of Texas City, on July 5 in the 10th District Court, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

S&P officials sent a vehicle in July 2016 to pick up Verver for a CT scan appointment, but Thomas tried to help her sit without placing the car in park, the lawsuit asserts.

“The vehicle began to move, she was struck by the door and fell, injuring her right side,” the lawsuit asserts.

Verver suffered severe injuries to her right shin, ankle and foot and fractures in the back and chest, the lawsuit asserts.

Jason DeSouza, of San Antonio, is representing Verver.

The defendants have not yet responded to the lawsuit, court records show.

TRIALS THIS WEEK

Two trials are set for Galveston County courts this week, Assistant Criminal District Attorney Bill Reed, the felony division chief, said.

The 56th District Court will host a jury to hear evidence against Evan David Nolan, 28, on one count of murder.

The 212th District Court will host a jury to hear evidence against Kenneth Ray Mays, 35, on one count of continuous sex abuse of a child under the age of 14.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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