Former Burger King employee awarded $2M after she was fired for having a trachea tube: lawsuit

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A woman who was reportedly fired from an Orlando-area  Burger King for having a trachea tube was recently awarded $2 million by a jury, according to reports.

Ashley Merard sued the franchise owner, Magic Burgers LLC, for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Orlando Sentinel Reported. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, a jury awarded Merard $2 million in punitive damages on May 4. Merard was also awarded $30,000 for emotional pain and mental anguish and $15,519.60 for lost wages. 

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Jesse Drawas, the attorney for Magic Burgers LLC told Fox News in a statement that the company is “disappointed with the result” and plans to appeal the verdict. 

A former Burger King employee in Orlando sued the franchise owner, claiming the restaurant (not pictured) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(iStock)

Merard’s attorney, David Barszcz, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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According to the Orlando Sentinel, Merard was hired at the Burger King in 2017 — about a year after she was in a car accident that caused her to need a trachea tube.

The newspaper reported that the general manager was aware of Merard’s tube when he interviewed her. 

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However, after she started working there, a “higher management official” allegedly told her she had to leave because of the trachea tube and she was reportedly fired in August 2017, the Orlando Sentinel reported. 

Merard had reportedly only worked at the Burger King for six weeks, according to the newspaper. 

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However, Magic Burgers LLC reportedly said in court documents that Merard stopped working on her own and without telling anyone, the Orlando Sentinel reported. 

Her attorney, David Barszcz, refuted those claims to the newspaper. 

Though the jury awarded Merard $2 million in punitive damages, that could be reduced because of statutory caps, according to the newspaper.

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