CHARLESTON – A Mount Hope man is suing JAG Coal Services, LLC for refusing to hire him based on a previously sustained injury.
JAG Coal Services was formally known as Lincoln Leasing Company.
Herbie Smith, an employee of JAG, was also named as a defendant in the suit.
On Nov. 11, 2000, Samuel Ruff was involved in a serious mining accident and broke his neck, and in 2002, he was released to return to work without restrictions, according to a complaint filed Nov. 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Ruff claims after being released to return to work, he had a handful of jobs driving large trucks and coal trucks, and in 2010, he began going to JAG to seek employment.
At JAG, Ruff inquired on several occasions regarding a position driving a coal truck, according to the suit, however, JAG refused to hire Ruff due to his prior injury.
Ruff claims a witness for him, Michael B. Taylor Jr., overheard Smith state that he would not hire him due to the previously sustained injury.
Smith made the statement and refused to hire Ruff, despite the fact that he was qualified and able to perform the essential job functions of the position for which he had applied, according to the suit.
Ruff claims he attempted to secure an interview several times with JAG and attended a job fair in Beckley to seek employment with JAG, but was still refused employment based upon a perceived disability.
The defendants’ alleged actions were discriminatory and caused Ruff to suffer lost wages and benefits; out-of-pocket losses; severe emotional and mental distress; humiliation; anxiety; embarrassment; depression; aggravation; and annoyance and inconvenience, according to the suit.
Ruff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Mark L. French and Matthew S. Criswell.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2206