C&O mechanic claims he was fired because of ethics

CHARLESTON - A Poca man has filed a suit against a local car dealership, claiming he was unlawfully fired because he reported a co-worked who was illegally overcharging customers.

Danny J. Burgess Jr. filed the suit Jan. 17 against C&O Motors, his former employer, and Brian Meadows, the shop foreman of the dealership. Burgess was employed as an automobile technician by C&O in 1996 until his termination on Oct. 25, 2006.

The suit says that in February or March 2006, Burgess witnessed Craig White, another C&O repair technician employee, "cheating customers by selling vehicle repairs that were unnecessary and charging for repairs that were not performed."

The suit says that Burgess believed that cheating the customers was illegal and an act that defrauded the customers with which C&O dealt.

Burgess expressed to Meadows his concerns, and the suit states that Meadows ordered Burgess to keep quiet and "mind his own business," which then created an intolerable working environment.

When Burgess continued to advise people at the dealership of the unlawful act, he was fired. The suit states that Burgess' refusal to keep quiet led to his termination.

He is seeking compensation for lost back pay, reinstatement of employment, punitive damages and court costs. He is seeking a trial by jury.

He is being represented by Charleston attorney Rudy DiTrapano. The case has been assigned to Judge Charlie King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-101

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