WINFIELD – A Hurricane country club is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit after four women say a supervisor created a hostile work environment.

Sleepy Hollow Golf Club and Bret Bledsoe are the defendants in a lawsuit filed July 30 in Putnam Circuit Court by Noel Hall, Johnna Ellis, Melissa Priddy and Diana Priddy.

The plaintiffs worked in the food serving area of the club under Bledsoe, who was a supervisor and/or manager.

According to the suit, "Plaintiffs were all individually subjected to a sexually harassing and hostile environment created" by Bledsoe and several of their co-workers.

The plaintiffs say Sleepy Hollow failed to correct or eliminate the problems caused by Bledsoe and the other workers. They say Sleepy Hollow knew or should have known about the problem and, thus, ratified and/or condoned it.

"This environment caused and/or contributed to the plaintiffs feeling disgusted, afraid, ashamed, upset and confused," the suit states.

Noel Hall of St. Albans worked there from October 2006 until March 2008, when she was discharged.

"She repeatedly rejected Defendant Bledsoe's sexual conduct and complained of his retaliatory conduct against her to Defendant's general manager, David White, to no avail," the complaint states.

Melissa Priddy of Liberty worked there from November 2005 until April 7, 2007, when she was fired.

"She requested Defendant Bledsoe to stop harassing her, and discussed these incidents of sexual harassment with co-workers and management in a further attempt to end the misconduct and prevent other workers from experiencing the same gross misconduct," the suit states.

Johnna Ellis of Hurricane worked at the club from January 2007 until January 2008, when she says she found the environment "so hostile and intolerable" that she quit.

During her time there from October 2006 to January 2007, Dianna Priddy of Liberty says she was continually subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation until she was fired after she rejected Bledsoe's sexual conduct toward her.

"During their employment, the plaintiffs would return to work after complaining to management and co-workers only to be subjected to more instances of sexual harassment," the complaint states.

The plaintiffs say that because of the defendants' actions, they suffered lost wages and benefits in addition to indignity, embarrassment and mental anguish.

They seek compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, costs and other relief.

The plaintiffs are represented by Wheeling attorney Robert P. Fitzsimmons. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 08-C-249




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