Man says mine fired him for discussing safety concerns with inspectors

By Annie Cosby | Nov 3, 2014

MADISON – A Boone County man is suing over claims he was fired for discussing safety concerns with state mine inspectors.

Tony D. Rumberg filed a lawsuit Sept. 30 in Boone Circuit Court against Nelson Brothers, and Independence Coal Company Inc.

According to the complaint, Rumberg was employed by Nelson Brothers doing blasting work at Independence Coal Company's Twilight Mountain Surface Mine when he was approached by West Virginia Mine Inspectors, who asked him to contact them and to whom he discussed blasting work safety concerns.

Rumberg says the inspectors then talked to agents of Independence and, shortly thereafter, Nelson informed him that Independence wanted him off the job and he was discharged Nov. 4, 2013. The defendants are accused of violating public policy of West Virginia.

Rumberg seeks back pay, lost benefits, reinstatement or front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.

He is represented by attorneys J. Michael Ranson and Cynthia M. Ranson of Ranson Law Offices in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 14-C-179

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