CLARKSBURG – Dollar General and workers who claim the retailer underpaid them each passed up a chance to challenge the qualifications of the other's experts.

Both sides missed a deadline to file motions for a hearing that U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley planned to hold on June 21, so she cancelled it.

She had set the date last July, on a schedule leading to trial next January.

Anna Malcomb, Patsy Helmick, Ron Weaver and Tammy Audia sued Dollar General last year, alleging it classified them as managers to avoid paying them overtime.

Keeley consolidated the cases for pretrial purposes and set a "Daubert hearing," using a name from a case that set rules for examining experts.

She wrote, "By joint stipulation, the parties may choose to forego a hearing and submit Daubert motions for decision on the briefs."

The parties chose neither option, dropping the matter entirely.

The schedule calls for completion of discovery by July 22.

It requires private mediation on or before Aug. 8.

It sets an Aug. 22 deadline for dispositive motions, with responses by Sept. 6.

It sets trial to start Jan. 9, but doesn't indicate which plaintiff gets the first trial.

Michelle Massingale of Charlotte and Thomas Dyer of Clarksburg represent Malcomb, Helmick, Weaver and Audia.

Eric Iskra, of Spilman Thomas and Battle in Charleston, and Larissa Dean of the firm's Morgantown office represent Dollar General.

So do Ronald Manthey, Joel Allen and Rachel Morgan, all of Dallas.

Seth Harper, of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown and Poe in Morgantown, joined the defense team in March.

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