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Casino wants to block claim

27 September 2007

NEW MEXICO -- As reported by the New Mexican: "The Pueblo of Pojoaque is asking a District Court judge to block a fired casino worker's claim that the pueblo should pay damages for retaliation. An attorney for the pueblo said the state administrative judge who oversees workers' compensation claims doesn't have the authority to levy damages against the pueblo for alleged retaliation.

"...'We are going to appeal that ... because it is such a big issue,' said Pueblo attorney Frank Demolli, who has previously advanced tribal-sovereignty cases through appeals.

"David Martinez was fired from his job as a casino floor manager in January after the Pueblo of Pojoaque Gaming Commission notified him his Pueblo gaming license had been revoked. According to a letter to Martinez notifying him of the revocation, the commission found 'a pattern of false and misleading statements' from Martinez.

"...The misleading statements related to an earlier claim involving a work-related foot injury for which Martinez was awarded $4,427 in November.

"...The pueblo doesn't dispute the outcome of Martinez's original workers' compensation claim.

"...The pueblo said it only agreed to allow state jurisdiction in Martinez's workers' compensation hearing for the purposes of awarding compensation for his injuries..."

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