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Walton man sues Standard Oil, alleging wrongful termination

By Dan Harkins | Aug 25, 2015

POINT PLEASANT -- A Walton man is suing Standard Oil, alleging it fired him for reporting unsafe working conditions.

Robert Young filed a lawsuit Aug. 3 in Mason Circuit Court against Standard Oil Co. Inc.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 15, 2011, Young began working as a rig operator and in other roles for Mountain Country Partners and became an employee of Standard Oil in spring 2015 when that company purchased MCP.

On June 1, Young told his supervisor that his assigned rig was unsafe due to safety violations, the lawsuit states, and earlier in the week he had given his supervisor a list of rig defects. Young's supervisor informed the company's vice president of production and was told that he "could either run the rig of go home," the lawsuit states. Young and his co-worker again told the supervisor the rig was unsafe, and they were terminated, the lawsuit states.

Young informed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about the working conditions, the lawsuit states, and in a letter of June 10, Standard Oil informed OSHA that the "unsafe conditions reported by the plaintiff had been repaired."

The defendant alleged the plaintiff was fired during to "pre-textual" reasoning, and allegedly didn't pay Young for all of the hours that he'd worked.

The plaintiff alleges a violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages.

Young seeks compensatory damages, front pay, punitive damages, emotional distress damages, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by attorney Richard W. Walters of Shaffer & Shaffer in Charleston.

Mason Circuit Court case number 15C91.

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