Fayette man says he was fired for filing for workers' comp

CHARLESTON - A Fayette County man has filed a suit against his former employer, claiming he was fired after filing for workers' compensation.

James Balser filed the suit Dec. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Petroleum Fueling.

According to the suit, Balser was employed by Petroleum Fueling at Black Castle Mining in Boone County from Jan. 2, 2006, to Aug. 1, 2007.

Balser claims he was injured Dec. 28, 2006, while in a truck accident on the job. According to the suit, he filed a workers' compensation claim for all injuries ruled compensable.

However, Aug. 1, 2007, Balser was fired "in whole or in part because he filed a worker's compensation claim," the suit says.

Balser seeks back pay and employee benefits along with being reinstated to his former position. He also seeks compensatory damages for embarrassment, emotional distress and mental anguish.

Attorney J. Michael Ranson is representing Balser. The case has been assigned to Judge Charles King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2712

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