PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Thomas Hurley, a firefighter turned celebrity chef, is suing the City of Portland for $2 million, claiming it’s trying to force him to take a make-work position and has cut off his disability payments, which in 2008 were nearly $4,000 per month.
Hurley has been receiving disability payments since 1993 after shattering his knee and hurting in his back while fighting a fire.
In addition to disability payments, the city paid for Hurley’s chef training at the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York.
Portland claims that Hurley must return to work in some capacity to continue to receive medical benefits, disability payments and to participate in the city’s pension fund.
But Hurley says it will cost the city $300,000 more to return him to work than to continue his disability payments.
Hurley closed his eponymously named restaurant in Portland and has moved to Seattle to concentrate on a new restaurant there.
Hurley is represented in Multnomah County Court by Montgomery Cobb with Cobb & Bosse.