Putnam man claims wrongful firing, discrimination

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 16, 2007

WINFIELD – A Putnam County man says his former employer hired him, obtained his institutional knowledge and then fired him.

Robert R. Talley filed his lawsuit Jan. 2 against Caplan Industries Inc. doing business as Task Tools & Abrasives.

On Oct. 3, 2005, Talley says he was hired by Caplan as territory manager for an area covering southwest Pennsylvania, southeast Ohio and West Virginia.

Talley says he was induced to accept the position through an "Offer of Employment" correspondence which outlined the terms of the position. He says he wash hired, in part, for his vast knowledge, expertise and contacts in the area, which was a new territory for Caplan.

In May 2006, Talley says he was awarded by Caplan for opening the most new accounts.

The next month, however, he was fired.

Talley says Caplan's director of sales indicated that Talley "was too old for his position." The complaint does not specify Talley's age.

In his five-count complaint, Talley accuses the defendant of fraudulent inducement for enticing him to accept the job to "abscond his vast knowledge, expertise and contacts."

He also says Caplan is guilty of wrongful termination because he is in a protected class under the West Virginia Human Rights Act and that the company violated "substantial public policy."

He also accuses Caplan of unjust enrichment and says the company must not be permitted to unjustly enrich itself or otherwise receive a windfall at the expense of Talley and must make restitution.

He also says Caplan's actions were intentional and caused him aggravation and inconvenience, emotional distress, anger, anguish, chagrin, depression, disappointment, embarrassment, fear, fright, grief, horror, humiliation, shame and worry.

He seeks compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs, attorney fees and other relief.

Talley is represented by attorney David R. Barney Jr., and the case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 07-C-1

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