MARTINSBURG -- Four Berkeley and Jefferson County plant workers claim they and 375 others suffered a plant closing without proper notice.
Filed on March 20, 2008, the suit claims Joseph Nolan, Eric Woomer, Carla Coble, and Stephanie Laing were employed at AB&C Group, Inc., facilities in both Berkeley and Jefferson counties along with 375 other employees.
AB&C closed their doors on March 14 after filing Chapter 11. The company had not paid any employees for three weeks, but the plant closing surprised its workers.
The abrupt plant closing violates the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) and left its workers to learn of their termination when they reported for work on Friday. Under the WARN Act, a plant must give employees sixty days notice of closing.
Filed by David Hammer and Robert Schiavoni of the Martinsburg firm of Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni as well as Garry Geffert, the suit names AB&C, its employer BlueSky Brand, Inc., and BlueSky's employer, Reliant Investors, LLC, as defendants. It also names Carr Preston, the vice president and director of BlueSky; Thomas Darden, Jr., a director of BlueSky and Reliant; Qian Elmore, a director of BlueSky and principal of Reliant; Robert Pulciani, CEO of BlueSky; and Philip Wax, CFO of BlueSky and CFO of AB&C; as defendants.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, the suit alleges that the defendants, some in dual capacities, made the decision to close AB&C without warning. It also claims the facilities' closing was not caused by unforeseeable business circumstances or preceded by a mailing of notice.
Nolan, Woomer, Coble, and Laing along with their fellow workers are seeking a trial by jury for sixty days' pay and benefits, applicable monetary damages under the WARN Act, and attorneys' fees.