ELKINS – A federal judge granted MegaCorp's motion to dismiss in a lawsuit alleging the company forced an employee to resign after she was continuously attacked by a co-worker.
District Judge John Preston Bailey ruled that the plaintiff has failed to support a claim for negligent training and supervision in her complaint, and because of that, the complaint is dismissed, according to the Dec. 22 order.
Because the alleged acts in the amended complaint were intentional, the plaintiff has not alleged negligence "as required to sustain a cause of action for negligent supervision," the order states.
MegaCorp filed its motion to dismiss on Nov. 25, claiming Tiffany Selders should have filed the claim against the alleged wrongdoer instead of MegaCorp.
"As West Virginia courts have ruled previously, plaintiff cannot sustain a cause of action for negligent supervision and training without underlying negligence on the part of the supposed wrongdoer," the motion stated. "Therefore, Count Five of plaintiff’s complaint fails as a matter of law and should be dismissed in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)."
Selders filed her lawsuit on Aug. 9. She claimed she was working for MegaCorp in Elkins in 2009 where she worked as an account executive with a salary of $52,000 per year.
She also was supposed to be compensated 35 percent of the revenue, according to the complaint.
In time, Selders was promoted to an assistant manager, but, she received no additional compensation.
During her tenure, on Aug. 9, 2012, Selders was physically assaulted by a co-worker who shoved his hand down her shirt, according to the suit.
She claimed against again, on Oct. 16, 2012, the same worker shoved his hands down Selders’ pants, grabbed her buttocks and shoved her against a counter. On Nov. 5, Selders again was attacked by the same worker she claimed knocked her down several stairs.
In April 2013, the same perpetrator brought a handgun to work and put it on his desk, according to the suit.
Although Selders reported the incidents to her supervisors, MegaCorp failed to help her or to discipline the worker in any way, according to the complaint. In turn, the attacks continued throughout the past year. The unnamed co-worker shoved his hand down Selders’ shirt and grabbed her chest on March 11, then shoved his hands down her pants on July 2, the suit states.
Due to the continued attacks, Selders resigned Aug. 1. By the time she resigned, Selders still had not been receiving the salary she should have.
Selders was seeking exemplary damages, attorney fees, costs and other relief the court deems just. She was represented by Patrick S. Cassidy of Cassidy Myers Cogan & Voegelin LC; and Jeannette Laura Wakim Chapman and Paul J. Harris of Harris Law Offices.
The defendant was represented by Michael J. Moore and Ashley C. Pack of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number 2:14-cv-60