GREENWICH — A lawsuit alleging age discrimination at a local yacht club is continuing, with new claims being filed.
The former general manager of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club is suing the institution, claiming he was fired due to his age, and another set of court papers says he has been suffering adverse health effects as a result of the job loss.
David Foster, now 67, states that he has “suffered ongoing and severe anxiety” and other health problems.
Foster, a Norwalk resident, is looking to collect damages, and contends he is due $200,000 in severance per the terms of his contract. The lawsuit in state Superior Court says Foster was “discriminated against substantially because of his age.”
Foster began work with the club on Steamboat Road in 2011. Court papers say he received good evaluations and had his contract renewed and earned bonuses regularly.
But Foster maintains he was singled out for differential treatment over the last few years. “(Foster) was not given a raise despite his excellent performance. (Foster) was treated differently than similarly situated employees who are substantially younger than him,” the suit contends.
A major point of contention is Foster’s handling of an incident on December 2016, when a number of club employees were drinking in the clubhouse after a big party, against a club policy that forbids employees from drinking alcohol on the premises. They left a mess behind, which Foster cleaned up. The lawsuit states Foster “handled the situation in a professional manner.”
Five employees were later fired over the incident. Foster maintains he was given little information about the event, for which he felt he was made to take the blame.
The latest court filings from Foster contend he has seen a number of specialists to deal with his firing-imposed medical problems.
The club’s lawyers have presented a differing narrative, claiming there was no discrimination. In a response to the lawsuit, the club management says there has been no factual evidence presented of age discrimination, and the former manager “has failed to allege sufficient facts to support the asserted” claims.
Before the lawsuit was filed, a complaint was filed with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The commission found evidence in the case “falls below the standard” of the rights commission. The agency also stated the handling of the unauthorized drinking party in 2016 appeared to be a motivating factor in the decisions made by club leaders.