UPDATE: Local hearing aid chief asked employees to purchase narcotic, suits allege

By April Bamburg | Aug 27, 2014

HUNTINGTON – Two women have filed lawsuits against their former employer and its CEO, claiming they were fired for refusing to purchase a weight loss drug that is a Schedule IV narcotic for the executive.

Brandi Spurlock and Tobiya Bocook filed separate lawsuits Aug. 1 in Cabell Circuit Court against Marsha Mattingly, individually and as managing agent for H. William Mattingly Corp., H. William Mattingly Corp. and GN Hearing Care Corp., doing business as Beltone.

According to the complaints, the women worked for H. William Mattingly Corp. as telemarketers in Huntington.

According to the complaint, Spurlock was employed by Mattingly Corp. when she was instructed by Elisha Holley, Mattingly's telemarketing manager, on two occasions, to go to Transformations Weight Loss & Clinic and obtain Adipex, a Schedule IV controlled substance, for the defendant's president, Marsha Mattingly, to ensure Spurlock's job security and make extra money. Spurlock says she was told to pose as a weight loss patient, given $150 to buy the pills and $50 for herself.

The complaint states Holley was instructed to send employees to procure the drug by Marsha Mattingly.

Spurlock says on Dec. 18, she informed Holley she would no longer illegally obtain the pills for Mattingly, and her employment was terminated that same day.

The complaint also states after Spurlock filed a claim for unemployment, Mattingly Corp. falsely claimed the reason for her termination was due to drama in her life interfering with her work, which Spurlock says is a complete fabrication.

In Bocook's complaint, it says that she worked for Mattingly from Jan. 17, 2012, to March 7, 2014, when she was terminated for refusing to obtain Adipex illegally for defendant Marsha Mattingly and for contacting Beltone's corporate office to advise of the defendant corporation's requirement that employees illegally obtain and distribute drugs for illegal use to benefit Marsha Mattingly.

The complaints claim GN Hearing Care Corporation is negligent in their failure to maintain confidentiality about the plaintiff's telephone call or to investigate the report and instead informed defendant Marsha Mattingly of the plaintiff's telephone call.

Two days after she was terminated, Bocook filed a claim with the unemployment office, and her benefits were denied because defendant H. William Mattingly Corporation said she was discharged for violating the company's internet usage policy.

According to the lawsuits, the defendants violated a state statute in instructing employees to obtain Adipex for defendant Marsha Mattingly.

Mattingly is accused of wrongful termination, negligent violation of a statute and violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment against the defendants for compensatory damages including lost wages, back and front pay, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation and aggravation. They also seek punitive damages in an amount to deter the defendants from repeating their conduct.

Both are represented by James D. McQueen Jr. and Ralph J. Hagy of McQueen Davis P.L.L.C in Huntington and Richard Wallace Weston of Weston Law Offices in Huntington.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers 14-C-538 (Spurlock) and 14-C-539 (Bocook)

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