Hall of Famer Lem Barney sues Detroit Medical Center
Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney sues Detroit health system, alleges age discrimination
Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney has filed a lawsuit against a Detroit health system, alleging he was fired because of his age.
The former Lions great is suing the Detroit Medical Center for $270,000.
The lawsuit argues the DMC violated the Family and Medical Leave Act when Barney was fired in February just weeks after returning to work after back surgery.
Barney's attorney, James Acho, discussed the reasons for the lawsuit.
"People in general should be able to work, take time off if needed to deal with medical issues and to work until they feel they are able to retire financially without being subjected to discriminatory action and/or comments," Acho said.
Acho added that Barney had his pay cut and was demoted to a clerical position and his complaints to Human Resources officials went nowhere.
"I've known Lem for 20 years and this took a toll on him. It was very stressful for him and I would catch him at home and he was despondent and it's not like him and they really put him through the wringer over there," Acho said.
Barney also says he was fired after running afoul of a supervisor by signing too many autographs for fans.
The 67-year-old filed the suit Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Detroit Medical Center officials declined comment, citing the ongoing legal matter.
Barney was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. He was a defensive back with the Lions in the 1960s and '70s.
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