Two men accuse Alpha of wrongful termination

By Annie Cosby | Dec 18, 2014

MADISON – A Boone County man and a Fayette County man are suing over claims they were unlawfully terminated from Alpha Natural Resources Services.


MADISON – A Boone County man and a Fayette County man are suing over claims they were unlawfully terminated from Alpha Natural Resources Services.

Tommy Allen Hanna and James R. Rowe filed lawsuits in Boone Circuit Court against Alpha Natural Resources Services and Alpha Appalachia Services Inc. Hanna also named Black Castle Mining Company Inc. and Appalachian Transfer, and Rowe also named Marfork Coal Company, Curtis Canada and Randy Radford.

According to the complaint, Hanna was hired by Appalachian Transfer on Sept. 19, but on his second day of work, Sept. 22, Alpha Natural Resources Services, Alpha Appalachia Services and Black Castle Mining notified Appalachian Transfer that they didn't want Hanna working on their property, so Appalachian Transfer discharged Hanna that same day.

The defendants are accused of retaliatory discharge and tortious interference with Hanna's business relationship with Appalachian Transfer. Hanna says his termination was, in part, due to previous attempt to receive workers' compensation and a civil action he filed against Massey Energy Company, Elk Run Coal Company and Black Castle Mining Company.

In Rowe's complaint, he states he was employed by the defendants for eight years until he was discharged Sept. 26. Rowe says he sustained an orthopedic injury to his left foot in 2013 and missed four months of work, after which his supervisors retaliated against him, refusing to place him in the day shift dispatcher job, before terminating his employment. The defendants are accused of constructively demoting Rowe, then discharging him, discrimination and failing to accommodate his disability.

Hanna and Rowe seek punitive damages, lost wages and benefits, front pay, interest and attorney fees.

Both plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Mark A. Atkinson and John-Mark Atkinson of Atkinson and Polak in Charleston, and Harry M. Hatfield of Hatfield and Hatfield in Madison.

Boone Circuit Court case numbers: 14-C-211 and 14-C-212

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