BECKLEY – A worker fired from a mining company has sued, alleging wrongful termination.

Curtis Brian Stover, of Raleigh County, filed a lawsuit April 3 in Boone Circuit Court against Patriot Mining Co., also known as Patriot Coal Co., citing wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, Stover became a utility man for Patriot Coal Co. in September 2012, and on April 3, 2014, while working, Stover was seeking treatment for a workplace injury when called by a company official, Timothy Browning, telling Stover "to refrain from filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits and to instead return to work the following day."

Stover refrained from filing a claim and returned to work his next shift, the suit states, when he was approached by Patriot Coal Co. executives who told him to take a urinalysis test to screen for illicit substances. According to the suit, Stover said he couldn't urinate and that he would submit himself to a hair follicle or blood test. The company refused, court documents state, and he was fired.

Stover seeks: back pay and benefits; compensatory damages; punitive damages; attorney fees; court costs; reinstatement or front pay; and any other relief deemed just by the court. He is represented by attorneys Stephen B. Farmer and Matthew H. Nelson of Farmer, Cline and Campbell in Morgantown.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 15-C-67

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