CHARLESTON - Two members of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters filed a suit against a local construction company after they were assaulted outside a construction site while picketing.
Joseph M. Elliott and Randall T. May, both of Wood County, filed separate suits Feb. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Wolfe Construction Company, Joe Wolfe and Larry Cabell.
According to the suits, Elliott and May were two of 12 picketers Sept. 5, 2007, at a construction site at 1306 Kanawha Boulevard East in Charleston. They claim they were with the West Virginia District of the MARCC, conducting a peaceful and lawful informational picket.
"The purpose of the informational picket was to inform the public that Eye & Ear Clinic Physicians Inc. had contracted with Wolfe Construction Company, an employer that was not only non-union, but allegedly paid their employees below the prevailing wage," the suit says.
According to the suit, the picket has been ongoing for approximately three weeks without confrontation from the police or the construction company. However, on the afternoon of Sept. 5, 2007, only Elliott and May were left at the site.
The suit says a large truck arrived carrying a piece of equipment with metal tracks. May and Elliott decided to film the unloading of the equipment in order to document any damage the equipment may cause to the city street.
According to the suit, Joe Wolfe tried to block Elliott from taking pictures by running in front of his camera. While Wolfe was trying to block Elliott, Larry Cabell attacked May, the suit says.
Cabell allegedly knocked May to the ground and began striking him. At the same time, Elliott claims Wolfe and other individuals attacked him in an effort to damage his camera.
May and Elliott were taken by ambulance to Charleston Area Medical Center, where they underwent medical treatments, including MRIs.
In the three-count suit, May and Elliott seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and punitive damages for mental anxiety and emotional distress.
Attorney Mark W. Carbone is representing May and Elliott.
Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 08-C-312 and 08-C-313