Ingram Entertainment sued for FMLA violations

Plaintiff tells lawyers he was 'fired for stealing toilet paper'

Mark Twain once revised an age-old idiom and said truth is stranger than fiction, but it’s because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

In a case as uniquely odd as it is allegedly true, a former Ingram Entertainment employee has sued the La Vergne-based media distributor in U.S. District Court in Nashville. Jerrod Nile is accusing Ingram Entertainment of violating the federal Family and Medical Leave Act by firing Nile for allegedly stealing toilet paper.

The real reason for Nile's dismissal, the complaint states, was Ingram’s reticence to pay medical expenses resulting from his spinal surgery, something he had told Ingram officials about well in advance. This telling, Nile handing over medical information, included a corporate version of a note from Nile’s doctor, to Ingram’s human resources staff.

Nile is being represented by Murfreesboro attorney Kerry Knox and Nashville attorney Stephen W. Grace. Both lawyers work for their own, eponymous firms.

As to the toilet paper allegation, Nile’s attorneys didn’t blush in explaining what happened.

“That was the actual and official reason for Nile’s discharge,” Grace said. “There was nothing more to it.”

Ingram officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

Click here for the complaint, which details Nile’s time with the company from employment to discharge, including the unusual toilet paper drama. Nile is seeking back pay and any lost benefits he would have otherwise received, plus the standard asks typical of cases like this one including pre- and post-judgment interest and attorney’s fees.

Ingram Entertainment ships home entertainment products from major and independent suppliers via 13 sales and distribution centers around the country. It also is affiliated to two other companies, home video distributor Monarch Entertainment and DBI Beverage, which runs a number of alcohol distributorships in California.