Judge: Warner Robins Little League employee not fired due to breast cancer

mstucka@macon.comMarch 28, 2014 

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Little League Baseball Inc., ruling the decision to fire a woman was made days before she told anyone she might have breast cancer -- not because of it.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge C. Ashley Royal ruled March 21 that Kristine Corzine wasn’t fired because of her revelation that she probably had breast cancer. The judge found that Corzine, a receptionist and supply clerk at the Little League Southeastern Region Headquarters in Warner Robins, had been recommended for termination by her Warner Robins supervisor four days before Corzine found the lump in her breast. Her supervisor took several weeks to send over a negative employee evaluation but faxed it over more than an hour before Corzine told anyone about the lump.

Royal said Corzine hasn’t disputed those facts. Even if the supervisor “developed a discriminatory animus after learning of Plaintiff’s medical condition, that animus had no bearing on (the supervisor’s) previously-submitted appraisal and recommendation which led to Plaintiff’s termination,” Royal wrote.

Royal also found Corzine put files in the wrong spots, was not verifying the contents of shipments and otherwise did not follow office procedures. The Warner Robins office’s human resources director wrote in an email Dec. 17, 2010, two weeks after Corzine was hired, that “(w)e need to talk about Kristine Corzine. I see red flags already.”

In dismissing the case, Royal awarded no damages to Corzine and no attorney’s fees to Little League Baseball Inc.

The recommendation to fire Corzine was sent by fax on July 5, 2011. Later that day, she visited a doctor, who recommended a mammogram and ultrasound as soon as possible. The next day, she told a co-worker she needed another medical appointment. Hours later, she was told she was being fired, effective immediately.

Cancer was confirmed about two weeks later.

Corzine’s lead attorney, Thomas F. Richardson of Macon, was not available for comment Friday.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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