Mine whistleblower alleges wrongful termination

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 18, 2015

BECKLEY — A Raleigh County mine worker is suing his former employer, alleging wrongful discharge for speaking to state authorities.

Donald Eubank filed a lawsuit May 7 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Scott Ratliff and Austin Powder Company, headquartered in Ohio and doing business in West Virginia, alleging retaliatory discharge and seeking injunctive relief.

According to the filing, Eubank, hired by the defendant in late March 2011 to work on a Fayette County mine site, was terminated because he spoke to inspectors about hazardous blasting practices at the work site.

The suit says Eubank was dismissed Oct. 21, 2014 in violation of public policy. The complaint states defendant Ratliff told the plaintiff he was a snitch because he had been questioned by the State Office of Explosives and Blasting regarding Ratliff’s alleged tampering with a seismograph. The suit also alleges specific unlawful practices observed by Eubank.

The plaintiff alleges loss of income, distress and anguish.

Eubank seeks compensatory and punitive damages, back pay, reinstatement or front pay, attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorneys J. Michael Ranson and Cynthia Ranson of Ranson Law Offices in Charleston.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 15-C-369-H

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