HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man has filed a suit against a member of a local union, claiming he assaulted him on the picket line.

David McMellon filed the suit Aug. 26 in Cabell Circuit Court against Willie Adkins.

McMellon is a management employee of Steel of West Virginia. Adkins, of Wayne County, was an hourly employee at SWVA, before he was fired in August 2006.

According to the suit, the union was on strike against SWVA on Aug. 28, 2006, and had established picket lines at various locations near the Huntington plant.

While the union was on strike, a truck made deliveries to the plant, but was stopped by union picketers, including Adkins.

As a management employee, McMellon went to the picket line to assist the driver and tell him to either enter the plant or leave the area, the suit says.

While McMellon was talking to the driver, Adkins approached him and began beating him, in front of several witnesses, the suit says.

McMellon claims he told Adkins to stop, but did not fight back. According to the suit, other striking union workers did not help McMellon, instead shouted insults at him and encouraged Adkins.

Adkins continued to kick and hit McMellon, striking him repeatedly in the head ribs and other areas of his body.

He also verbally abused, berated and threatened McMellon.

McMellon claims he suffered painful physical and emotional injuries, as well as embarrassment and humiliation due to the attack.

In the two-count suit, McMellon claims Adkins' actions were willful, wanton, malicious, and in criminal disregard. McMellon seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Christopher L. Slaughter is representing McMellon. The case has been assigned to Judge John L. Cummings.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 08-C-748

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