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Pesserillo v. Nat'l Grid

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 8, 2015

RICHARD PESSERILLO, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL GRID, Defendant

For Plaintiff: Paul L. Dashefsky, Esq., PAUL L. DASHEFSKY, Smithtown, New York.

For Defendants: Patrick M. Collins, Esq., M. Christopher Moon, Esq., McCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP, New York, New York.

Page 552

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

LEONARD D. WEXLER, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff opposes the motion. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

The Defendant, National Grid, is a private utility company that provides electrical power to customers on Long Island. (Compl. ¶ 5.) The Plaintiff, Richard Pesserillo, was hired by National Grid's predecessor, the Long Island Lighting Company (" LILCO" ), on February 7, 1977 as a Grade I Mailboy. (Compl. ¶ 7.) Throughout the years, Plaintiff was promoted to various positions within both LILCO and National Grid, ultimately reaching the position of Emergency Service Specialist in 2011. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 8-10.) As an Emergency Service Specialist, Plaintiff's duties included repairing and maintaining high voltage power lines on Long Island. (Compl. ¶ 10.)

On or about March 12, 2013, Plaintiff was involved in a vehicular accident at work. (Compl. ¶ 11.) On or about that same day, Plaintiff underwent a sleep study examination to evaluate a possible restless leg syndrome. (Compl. ¶ 12.) As a result of the sleep study, Plaintiff was unexpectedly diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea with hypoxic reaction. (Compl. ¶ 12.) This medical condition was diagnosed as the critical factor in

Page 553

causing the March 12, 2013 vehicular accident. (Compl. ¶ 12.)

Approximately two months after Plaintiff's vehicular accident, on or about May 6, 2013, National Grid suspended Plaintiff pending an investigation into the accident. (Compl. ¶ 13.) At this point in time, Plaintiff's sleep apnea was under control and treatment. (Compl. ¶ 13.)

Thereafter, on or about May 10, 2013, Plaintiff provided National Grid with additional medical documentation demonstrating that his sleep apnea significantly contributed to the March 12, 2013 vehicular accident. (Compl. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff also provided National Grid with signed authorization forms for the release of his medical records. (Compl. ¶ 14.)

On or about May 30, 2013, National Grid charged Plaintiff with " falsification of records" on the grounds that he failed to indicate on his medical forms that he suffered from a sleep disorder. (Compl. ¶ 15.) However, such medical forms were completed prior to Plaintiff's diagnosis with sleep apnea. (Compl. ¶ 15.)

Plaintiff alleges that on or about May 31, 2013, National Grid constructively discharged him from his employment by forcing him to retire under the threat that if he did not do so, he would be fired and lose certain retirement benefits. (Compl. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff further alleges that at the time he retired, he was under extraordinary duress, suffered from severe clinical depression and was suicidal, eventually requiring medical treatment and hospitalization. (Compl. ¶ 16.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that other ...


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