Miner says supervisor, others abused his post-traumatic stress disorder

By Harmon Marks | Dec 22, 2011

MADISON -- A former mine shift foreman accuses his superintendent and employer Coal River Energy of repeated harassment and abuse relative to post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered through military service in Vietnam.

In his complaint filed Nov. 30 in Boone Circuit Court, Denny W. Lester says during some shifts over 18 months at the Fork Creek No. 3 Mine, Superintendent David Cobb banged steel behind him while he filled out pre-shift reports and struck tools against the walls and floor, further aggravating his PTSD.

"Cobb would also yell and kick things behind Plaintiff to startle him," complaint says, and there were co-workers who joined in on the harassment.

Lester mentions that when he went to Logan for a certification class, "Cobb and other co-workers set off firecracker caps ... to further aggravate his condition."

He complains he went on leave last May because the harassment "caused significant emotional distress ..."

His attorney, Daniel T. Lattanzi of Charleston, presents four causes of action as Intentional Injury, Hostile Work Environment, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Wage Payment Violation.

Lester seeks jury damage awards for loss of wages and benefits, emotional distress and anxiety; humiliation, embarrassment and outrageous conduct punitive damages, and litigation costs.

Case will be docketed for Judge William S. Thompson in spring.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-228

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