Raleigh Co. woman sues Big Sandy stores for sexual harassment

CHARLESTON -- A Raleigh County woman is suing John Eye Big Sandy Super Store Inc., Big Sandy Furniture Inc. and an individual after she claims she was sexually harassed while employed at Big Sandy.

In 2003, Donna Ferrell because working for the defendant as a sales associate and in 2004, Ron Bowling began a course of conduct of sexually harassing her, according to a complaint filed March 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Ferrell claims on multiple occasions, Bowling told her she needed to have sex with him, to which she refused. She claims in July 2005 he took her out back to show her a mattress that had been returned and while outside, he pulled a marijuana cigarette out of his pocket and offered it to her, to which she refused and went back inside the store.

Throughout her employment at Big Sandy, Ferrell claims Bowling repeatedly told her he loved her and would approach her and rub her shoulders. Ferrell rebuffed all of Bowling's inappropriate and illegal sexual advances, according to the suit.

Ferrell claims she reported Bowling's behavior on multiple occasions, but that no action was taken to stop him.

On Nov. 9, 2009, Ferrell had a meeting with the general manager, Brian Chinn, and complained again about Bowling's behavior, according to the suit. Ferrell resigned her position later in 2009 because she claims she could no longer stand the abusive working conditions.

Ferrell is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Matthew S. Criswell and Mark L. French.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-457

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