MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia County woman claims her employer discriminated against her because of her participation and testimony in a Federal Bureau of Investigations case.

Jessica Woodfork is alleging that her employer, Trauma Recovery Institute Inc., and her supervisors Louis W. Tinnin and Linda Gantt reduced her hours, vacation, sick days and benefits from full-time to part-time in an attempt to make her quit.

In the suit filed on Dec. 14, Woodfork claims that she has worked for TRI since 1998 preparing time records and directly working with patients, Medicaid and Medicare.

She claims this reduction and discrimination began following an FBI investigation of TRI for Medicaid and Medicare fraud earlier this year, and she was asked to participate and possibly testify against TRI, Tinnin and Gantt. Following the request, she notified the defendants in writing that she might be away from her desk for a couple hours every day over a period of a few weeks because of the FBI questioning.

Shortly thereafter, she discovered she would be testifying in United States of America v. Trauma Recovery Institute, Inc. and Louis W. Tinnin, M.D.

In the suit, filed by Travis R. Fitzwater, Woodfork alleges that because her testimony in the case might adversely affect TRI's business and Tinnin and Gantt's lives and careers, they began to discriminate against her. This discrimination included not only cutting her hours and benefits to part-time, but also hiring a contracted worker at double her wage.

Woodfork claims she was only making $12.50 per hour and the contracted worker was making $25 per hour. The contracted worker was also seeing many of Woodfork's patients.

Woodfork is seeking a trial by jury for punitive damages for her mental anguish and humiliation, lost wages and benefits, and loss of ability to enjoy her life. She is also seeking reinstatement, double wages, and court costs.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 05-C-736

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