West Virginia Record

Monday, August 19, 2019

Another on-the-job injury leads to suit against Putnam EMS

By Lawrence Smith | Apr 26, 2012

WINFIELD – For the second time this year, the Putnam County Emergency Medical Services squad is being sued by one of its former employees.

PCEMS and Director Cecil Kimble are named as co-defendants in a wrongful termination suit filed April 9 by Jack Williams Jr. In his complaint filed in Putnam Circuit Court, Williams alleges he was not allowed to return to work last year following an on-the-job injury.

According to his suit, Williams, during his shift, injured his hip on April 21, 2011, when he attempted to step out of an ambulance. Following his injury, Williams was transported to, and remained overnight at CAMC-Teays Valley.

Sometime after his arrival at the hospital, Williams maintains Kimble arrived with a representative from a drug testing company. The name of the representative, and the company are not specified in the suit.

According to the suit, Kimble asked Williams to provide the company representative a urine sample. Because he "had just been administered strong pain relief medication," Williams refused and asked them to leave.

Two days later, Williams returned to work. However, when he attempted to log onto PCEMS' computer system, and fill out an incident report, Kimble reportedly told Williams he "resigned while at the hospital and had been removed from the payroll."

Despite denying he resigned and expressing a desire to continue working as an emergency medical technician, Williams says Kimble refused to allow him to return to work.

According to his suit, shortly after his termination, Williams received approval of his workers' compensation claim for his medical bills. However, he maintains he has suffered a "loss of privacy, lost wages, annoyance and inconvenience, mental pain and suffering [and] embarrassment," as a result of his termination.

Williams seeks unspecified damages. He is represented by Charleston attorneys Michael T. Clifford and Richelle K. Garlow.

The case is assigned to Judge Phillip M. Stowers.

Earlier this year, paramedic Charles Lester filed suit against PCEMS and Kimble alleging he, too, was injured when working on an ambulance. In his suit, Lester alleges he suffered, among other things, back problems when on Jan. 4, 2010, he slipped on some ice that accumulated on the back of the ambulance he was working which caused him to fall and land on its bottom step.

According to his suit, Lester said he repeatedly warned Kimble the heater in the back in the ambulance was not working.

As a result of the injury, Lester alleges he incurred $18,000 in medical bills. His suit only makes claims for against PCEMS and Kimble for personal injury.

PCEMS' attorney Lee Murray Hall on Feb. 24 filed a motion to dismiss the suit. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 before Senior Status Judge Robert K. Holliday.

Putnam Circuit Court case numbers 12-C-110 (Williams) and 12-C-4 (Lester)

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