ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 724-652, DIVISION " P" . HONORABLE LEE V. FAULKNER, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING.
MYLES B. STEIB, JULIE ANNE GARDNER, BENJAMIN THOMAS, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.
SCOTT D. WILSON, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.
Panel composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert A. Chaisson, and Stephen J. Windhorst.
ROBERT A. CHAISSON
[14-880 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] Plaintiff/appellant, Elaine Aderholt (" Mrs. Aderholt" ), appeals a trial court judgment that denied her claim for damages for termination from employment based on age discrimination. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Mrs. Aderholt was hired by defendant/appellee, Metro Security, Inc. (" Metro Security" ), in January of 2006, to work as a gatehouse attendant at Gabriel Properties in Kenner, Louisiana. At the time she was hired, Mrs. Aderholt was seventy-four years old. On February 17, 2012, after six years with the company, Mrs. Aderholt was discharged from her employment. At the time of her termination, she was eighty years old.
On March 8, 2013, Mrs. Aderholt filed a petition for damages against Metro Security, alleging that she was terminated because of her age. In the petition, Mrs. Aderholt asserted that during her employment, she was subjected to a pattern of [14-880 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] age discrimination which culminated when the owner of the company, Lloyd Jarreau, told her that she was too old to be doing this type of work. Mrs. Aderholt alleged that she " complained about these comments to management to no avail," and that on February 17, 2012, she was retaliated against and was discharged from her employment. She claimed that as a result of her termination, she suffered severe emotional injuries, and she specifically requested damages for past, present, and future emotional pain and suffering, as well as lost wages.
The matter proceeded to a bench trial on July 22, 2014. At trial, Mrs. Aderholt testified that she was hired by the company right after Hurricane Katrina, even though she was in her seventies, and that she worked for Metro Security for about six years. During those six years, she worked as a gatehouse attendant at Gabriel Properties, and her duties included opening the gate, letting cars in, and taking their license plate numbers. Mrs. Aderholt maintained that she could perform all her duties as well as any of the other guards, and that she was fired because of her age.
When asked about any infractions, Mrs. Aderholt testified that she was late approximately five times during the six years of her employment and that other employees committed more serious infractions on the job, such as falling asleep, drinking alcohol, being constantly late, and getting caught with illegal drugs. According to Mrs. Aderholt, these employees were much younger than her, and to her knowledge, they were not fired or suspended for these infractions. Mrs. Aderholt asserted that the younger employees were treated differently than her, and they " got away with anything" and were not written up. In maintaining that she was fired because
of her age, she testified that in February of 2012, she had a conversation with the owner of the company, Mr. Jarreau, and he asked her how [14-880 La.App. 5 Cir. 4] old she was and suggested that she should retire. ...