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Man Wins Age Discrimination Case

October 26, 1997

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A federal jury has awarded a former employee of Missouri Gas Energy more than $6 million in an age discrimination case.

The jury issued the award Friday against Southern Union Co., Missouri Gas Energy’s parent company. The company denied discriminating against older employees.

Carl Morse, 54, claimed he was terminated nearly two years ago because the company preferred younger employees. Morse held a variety of positions since being hired in 1964.

As part of the judgment, the jury also awarded Morse $450,000 for mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering.

Witnesses testified that Southern Union’s president, Peter H. Kelley, made several comments hinting toward a company preference for younger employees.

According to testimony, Kelley said the company liked a ``younger work force″ because ``they’re more inquisitive″ and have ``more energy,″ and that the company’s older work force was pulling the company down.

Missouri Gas Energy has nearly 500,000 customers, primarily on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area, in St. Joseph and in southern Missouri.

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