CHARLESTON – A Raleigh County man is suing over claims he was unable to retire due to negligence in the processing of his retirement paperwork.

Manuel M. Cartelle filed a lawsuit Oct. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the City of Beckley and the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Cartelle worked for the defendants from 1974 until Feb. 28, 2013, when he was severely injured in a work-related vehicle accident one day before his planned date of retirement. Cartelle says that in October 2012 he requested a retirement estimate from the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and informed the Beckley mayor that he intended to retire, but the City of Beckley failed to file the proper paperwork or PERS failed to process the retirement estimate.

The complaint states while Cartelle was off work on workers' compensation, he was forced by the city of Beckley to use his accumulated sick leave, which he would have been able to apply to his retirement had the defendants timely processed his retirement.

Cartelle says he was unable to retire until July 18 due to the defendants' negligence and violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The complaint also states that after Cartelle informed the City of Beckley of its failure to submit the proper paperwork, the city retaliated against Cartelle by withholding documentation necessary for the processing of the plaintiff's health insurance.

Cartelle seeks compensatory and punitive damages plus attorney fees and costs.

He is represented by attorneys Matthew S. Criswell and Mark L. French of Criswell French in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1846

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