Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Suit Against City of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Police Dept. Begins in Federal Court

Plaintiff, Mickel Hoback, a former Chattanooga Police Department Officer is suing the City of Chattanooga for $1.5 Million claiming the City violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act when he was wrongfully terminated from the department for having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Hoback served one year in Iraq, returning to work with the CPD in 2006. According to the federal complaint, former Chief of Police Freeman Cooper fired Hoback in 2009 upon learning of his PTSD.

During his cross-examination on Tuesday, Hoback admitted that he spoke to a counselor in 2009. During these sessions he admitted that his counselor suggested Mr. Hoback pursue a less stressful profession. He also admitted that he is on regular medication for his PTSD.

Once Chief Cooper learned of Hoback's condition, he ordered Hoback to undergo a mental evaluation with a city-contracted psychiatrist. Hoback was deemed unfit for duty after this evaluation. However, according to Hoback, he saw two other psychiatrists after this evaluation and was told he was fit for duty.

Hoback is asking for his job back with backpay and benefits, as well as $1.5 million for "humiliation and embarrassment, invasion of privacy, emotional pain and suffering, and mental anguish."

The trial will continue on Wednesday morning.

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