Lawsuit against WVDHHR for sexual harassment settled

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 24, 2013

CHARLESTON - A sexual harassment lawsuit against the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources filed by a case worker has been settled and dismissed.

Robert Cramer, a case worker for the WVDHHR, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Sept. 5, an Order of Dismissal was filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Stacy Myers and the defendants represented to the court that all matters between the parties had been settled and compromised and they jointly moved the court to dismiss the matter with prejudice, according to the dismissal order.

Myers was receiving benefits from various WVDHHR programs and was assigned Cramer as her case worker, according to a complaint filed May 13, 2011, in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Myers claimed during a meeting with Cramer, he asked her to expose her breasts and she felt pressure to comply or risk losing her benefits.

At the time of the event, Myers was attempting to obtain certain benefits and did not have all the necessary paperwork, according to the suit.

Myers claimed the defendants’ actions caused her emotional and mental distress.

Cramer’s request was “outrageous given his position of authority and a clear breach of his duty and responsibility to plaintiff,” the complaint stated.

Myers claimed the WVDHHR had a duty and responsibility to prevent such conduct by its employees.

The defendants were negligent and breached their duties to provide benefits without subjecting Myers to sexual advances, according to the suit.

Myers was seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She was being represented by Paul M. Stroebel of Stroebel & Johnson PLLC.

The WVDHHR was represented by Edgar Allen Poe Jr. of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe PLLC. Cramer was represented by Perry W. Oxley of Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP.

The case was assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-780

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