Miner says workers' comp claim led to firing

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 29, 2014

CHARLESTON – A man alleges he lost his job after he filed for workers' compensation benefits.

David Wayne Querry alleges he was working as an underground fireboss for defendant Spartan Mining Company doing business as Mammoth Coal when he tripped over a rock while traveling a catwalk to inspect a conveyor belt in late January.

Following the incident, Querry attempted to complete an injury report but could not locate the appropriate form, according to the complaint filed Aug. 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Two shifts later, Querry was able to fill out the appropriate form but Mammoth did not report the injury, the suit states. In turn, Querry filed a claim for benefits under the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, the complaint says.

On Jan. 29, Querry was suspended for alleged misconduct. The suspension led to his termination Feb. 7, according to the complaint.

"The defendant's actions in terminating plaintiff were motivated, either in whole or in part, by plaintiff's workplace injury and his receipt of, or attempt to receive, benefits under the West Virginia Workers' Compensation Act," the suit states.

Because of his job loss, Querry lost wages and benefits and suffered embarrassment and humiliation, the complaint says.

In his complaint, Querry accuses Mammoth of violating the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

Querry is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney fees, costs, front pay and other relief the court deems just.

Stephen B. Farmer and Matthew H. Nelson of Farmer, Cline and Campbell in Morgantown will represent him.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-C-1530

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