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Former Sims employee seeks trial by jury

Keywords: Tags  scrap, Sims Group USA, Rex Warner, Port of Redwood City, lawsuit, age discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — A former employee of Sims Group USA Corp. who filed a lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful termination, age discrimination, retaliation and conversion has asked for a jury trial.

According to a tranche of legal documents made public in the past week by U.S. District Court in California, Rex Warner alleged that his role as a project and facility manager at a Sims facility in Redwood City, Calif., was terminated without cause July 24 because he "complained to his supervisors about unsafe and unhealthy working and environmental conditions at his place of employment, which included the overloading of machinery used to load material on ships at the Port of Redwood City and the handling and disposal of environmentally hazardous material at Sims’ Redwood City plant."

Warner claimed that he was "immediately discharged even though there was no cause for such action," and alleged that he also was deprived of unspecified "tools and equipment" valued at $385,000 and said that the company converted them to its own use.

Warner’s original lawsuit was filed against "Sims Metal Management Ltd. aka Sims Group Ltd." in Superior Court in California’s San Mateo County. The case was moved to federal court after Sims filed for removal, citing diversity jurisdiction. Lawyers for Sims also stated that the company had been "erroneously sued" as "Sims Metal Management Ltd. aka Sims Group Ltd." and clarified that the correct name was "Sims Group USA Corp."

Lawyers for Sims filed a response earlier this month to what they described as Warner’s "unverified complaint," denying each allegation and offering 23 affirmative defenses.

A spokesman for the New York-based company said that it "does not comment on pending litigation."

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