James McKelvey, a former soldier who received a Purple Heart and who lost his hand and suffered other serious injuries in an explosion while serving in Iraq, was awarded $4.3 million in a hostile work environment and disability discrimination lawsuit against the US Army.
McKelvey had claimed that his boss, Alan Parks, and a coworker, Bud Spalding, harassed and ridiculed him as “the cripple,” refused to provide him with computer equipment and door handles to accommodate his disabilities, and refused to let him park in a handicapped space at the Army’s Warren, MI arsenal even though he has a handicapped parking permit.
McKelvey’s complaints about the harassment did not help. On the contrary, his work environment worsened and he was told to get another job if he didn’t like the way he was being treated.
Joseph Golden, McKelvey’s lawyer, said, “Mr. McKelvey was an expert in defusing weapons of mass destruction and even with the need for his skills to protect us all, he was subjected to the most vile and vulgar insults and behavior with the full knowledge of his supervisors until he was forced to resign. Mr. McKelvey survived his wounds in Iraq and asked only to move on with his life. This is not how we should be treating war heroes.”