Women say WV Durable Medical wrongfully terminated their employment

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 6, 2013

CHARLESTON - Two former employees are suing WV Durable Medical Equipment Co. LLC for wrongfully terminating their employment when they complained about sexual harassment.

Gregory Amendolea and James Christopher Pallotta were also named as defendants in the suit.

Candace Smith and Alisha Quickle were employed by WV Durable until their employment was terminated on July 13, 2011, and June 18, 2011, according to two complaints filed May 2 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Smith and Quickle claim Amendolea used sexually suggestive, inappropriate, vulgar and/or abusive verbal language toward them and created a hostile work environment.

Pallotta, with full knowledge of Amendolea's behavior and sexual behaviors, failed to take action to protect Smith and Quickle and others from such sexual behavior and harassment, according to the suits, and later terminated their employment in retaliation for complaints made about Amendolea's actions.

Smith and Quickle claim the defendants' conduct was wrongful, unlawful and in violation of the laws and public policy of the state of West Virginia.

As a direct and proximate result of the negligence, carelessness, recklessness and/or willful conduct of the defendants, which caused the plaintiffs to suffer severe and irreparable harm and injury, including fear, embarrassment, humiliation, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, mental anguish, shock, fear, horror, annoyance, inconvenience, anger, chagrin, disappointment, worry, nausea, physical injury, emotional distress, psychological trauma, loss of the ability to enjoy life and emotional pain and suffering, according to the suits.

Smith and Quickle claim the defendants also caused them to incur economic losses.

The wrongful acts of the defendants were willful, wanton, malicious, reckless and generally abhorrent and shocking with regard to the rights and dignity of the plaintiffs, according to the suits.

They claim they were terminated in retaliation for complaining about Amendolea's behavior.

Smith and Quickle are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Stephen E. Hastings and Raj A. Shah of Hendrickson & Long PLLC and Crystal Hawkins Castleberry of Castleberry Law Offices.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Carrie Webster and James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-859, 13-C-860

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