Jury awards former McPherson officer damages in termination suit

By Staff Reports
October 17, 2014

A federal jury this week awarded a former McPherson police officer who was found sleeping on duty almost $1 million in wages and damages.

Matthew B. Michaels alleged the city violated his civil rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Kansas Wage Payment Act. He was fired from the McPherson Police Department in July 2012.

Michaels said he was discriminated against because of a sleep apnea disability.

A court judgment filed Wednesday orders the city to pay $921,657 — plus interest, court costs and attorney’s fees. That amount includes back and future wages as well as damages for pain and suffering.

There are still motions to be decided in the case, including one filed by the city looking to overturn the jury's verdict.

It may be early 2015 before those motions are resolved. If those motions are denied, the city plans to appeal.