Alcan workers claim medical records were revealed

By Kelly Holleran | Oct 5, 2009

CHARLESTON – In a putative class action lawsuit, Alcan workers allege their medical records were wrongfully revealed to threaten them against filing workers' compensation claims.

William Leonard, James McClain, R.C. Randolph, Charles Givens, John Heath and Kevin Griggs filed a class action suit April 1 in Jackson Circuit Court against Alcan Rolled Products –- Ravenswood.

The plaintiffs claim that certain health information, which was supposed to remain confidential, was improperly disseminated orally, in writing and electronically between management and to other Alcan employees.

"Plaintiffs verily believe this pattern of illegal dissemination of information was in and of itself illegal and additionally part of a greater scheme or policy of intimidation and harassment or orchestrated by the employer to harass and intimidate individual plaintiff into not filing legitimate claims for compensation for work related injuries under, at times, the threat of discharge or relocation," the suit states.

Alcan's actions violate the West Virginia Human Rights Act, common law rights and OSHA's record keeping standards, according to the complaint.

Because of their employer's actions, the plaintiffs say they have suffered pain, anguish and loss.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs are asking the court to verify the case as a class action lawsuit and are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Because the lawsuit involves a federal question, Alcan removed the case to federal court on Aug. 27.

Henry E. Wood III of Wood Law Office in Charleston will be representing the plaintiffs.

Christopher L. Slaughter and Joseph U. Leonoro of Steptoe and Johnson in Huntington will be representing Alcan.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-971

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