Man sues Charles Town track for work-related injury

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 22, 2009

CHARLES TOWN -- A former employee is suing Charles Town Races & Slots after being injured at work.

Bailey Busey began his employment as an assistant starter in 2003. He was injured June 15, 2007, according to a complaint filed in the Jefferson Circuit Court on Sept. 10.

Busey sustained a labral tear to his left shoulder and a lifting restriction of 15 pounds when a horse he was placing in a starting gate flipped and pinned him, according to the suit.

Busey filed a workers' compensation claim and returned to work Aug. 29, 2007, on restricted duty working in the racing office. Busey was unable to perform the duties of his old job position because of his physical impairment.

Busey claims he fully met expectations of his employer in regard to his work in the racing office and was encouraged to apply for a full-time position in the office. He claims he did so in December 2007, but was informed he had not been selected for the position.

According to the suit, the company filled the position with a less qualified white female with no prior experience in the racing office or work experience in racing, instead of selecting Busey, a black male, for the position.

On Dec. 26, 2007, Busey was transferred to the purchasing department and on Jan. 30, 2008, he was informed he would not be provided with any more restricted duty.

On March 18, he was informed he was on medical leave and on March 20 the human resources department informed him that he had the right to preferential recall for one year to any job for which he was qualified and capable of performing and which became vacant after he sought reinstatement, according to the suit.

Busey claims he applied for two more vacant positions in the racing office, but the company refused to hire him for either position. Busey was then notified on April 28 that his benefits would end in two days.

In March 2009, after being without benefits for one year, Busey met with Cameron King in the human resources department and claims he told her he believed his job rights were being violated. He was contacted three days later and "officially terminated," according to the suit.

Busey claims the company provided false information to Wells Fargo, the agent handling its unemployment claims, stating he was on leave as of Jan. 22, 2008 for a personal, non-work related injury and then was released to return to work with no restrictions; and that he had only applied for one job position for which he did not meet the qualifications.

Wells Fargo, in turn, provided false information to the West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Division, according to the suit.

Busey claims his race was a motivating factor in Charles Town Races & Slots' refusal to hire him for a full-time position.

Busey is suing for general damages, back pay, reinstatement, front pay, loss of future anticipated earnings and punitive damages. Harry P. Waddell is representing him.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Sanders.

Jefferson Circuit Court case number: 09-C-340

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