Three former assistant managers sue Wal-mart for wrongful termination

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 3, 2010

CHARLESTON -- Three former assistant managers are suing Wal-mart Stores East for wrongful termination of employment in three separate lawsuits.

Eddie Bostic, Pam Hartline and John Doe were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Dec. 28, 2009, Doe entered the South Ridge Wal-mart and was observed taking a pair of box cutters and cutting plastic packages so he could steal electronics and other equipment, according to three suits filed June 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Thomas Olson, Martin W. Ellis and Thomas A. Stewart claim they approached Doe and Olson requested that he not make any threatening moves to harm anyone with the box cutters that he used to steal the merchandise.

Instead of listening to Olson's request, Doe made a physical move toward Olson in what was viewed as an attempt to place Olson, other associates and customers in danger, according to the suit.

Olson constrained the arms of Doe in order to prevent violence, pursuant to Wal-mart's policy, according to the suit.

Olson, Ellis and Stewart claim their actions prevented anyone from being injured by Doe and that they later learned that Doe was a felon with a history of violent behavior.

On Jan. 12, despite following the rules pursuant to Wal-mart's policies, Olson, Ellis and Stewart were terminated from their employment, according to the suit.

The men claim the defendants' acts were a violation of public policy.

Olson, Ellis and Stewart are seeking judgment for an amount equal to the loss of all back pay and employment benefits, along with an award of either reinstatement or front pay in lieu of reinstatement; compensatory damages for embarrassment, emotional distress and mental anguish; and punitive damages for intentional and willful violation of the State Public Policy. They are being represented by J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, George B. Morrone III and Charles R. Webb.

Olson's case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom, and Ellis and Stewart's cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 10-C-1105, 10-C-1106, 10-C-1108

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