LOGAN – A Logan County woman says she was a victim of sexual harassment by her supervisor at a well-known automobile dealership.
Brandi Creakman filed her complaint Sept. 3 in Logan Circuit Court against Thornhill Superstore Inc. and Lee Neal.
In her complaint, Creakman says she began working at Thornhill, located on Corridor G in Chapmanville, on Jan. 1, 2014, as an internet specialist. Neal was the company’s general manager and Creakman’s supervisor.
Soon after she was hired, Creakman says Neal began to flirt and make inappropriate comments to her about her physique, “more specifically directing comments to plaintiff concerning the size of her ‘fat ass.’”
She says Neal made unwanted attempts to establish a romantic relationship with her, made inappropriate and explicit sexual comments about Creakman’s physique, made attempts to procure sexual favors from her as well as fondled and touched her.
Creakman says she reported Neal’s behavior to Sales Manager Josh Muncy and Director of Operations Everett Frazier.
“The employees of Thornhill participated in an intra office weight loss program to which defendant Lee Neal relayed to plaintiff that she ‘could start by losing fifty (50) pounds of that ass but not to lose too much because he might not like it,’” the complaint states.
“During a cookout at the work facility, defendant Lee Neal approached plaintiff from behind and placed his hand under plaintiff’s shirt thereby fondling her breast and asked plaintiff to pull her shirt up to expose her breast for his viewing pleasure.”
On Aug. 24, 2015, Creakman says she reported the issues to Finance Manager Tony Bsharah. She says the defendants retaliated by transferring her to another Thornhill facility. She still works for the company.
“Neal’s above behavior was commonly known by throughout the Thornhill operation by senior level supervisors,” the complaint states. “However, Mr. Neal was allowed to remain in his supervisory position over plaintiff.”
She says Neal’s actions violate the West Virginia Human Rights Act, as does the retaliatory move by the company. She says she was subjected to a hostile work environment as well as negligent supervision and retention.
Creakman seeks compensatory damages for extreme mental anguish and suffering, loss of wages and benefits, loss of future earning capacity and benefits, loss of capacity to enjoy life, medical expenses, annoyance, inconvenience, embarrassment and humiliation. She also seeks punitive damages, court costs, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief.
She is represented by Nathan D. Brown and Joshua S. Ferrell of Ferrell & Brown in Williamson. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Eric H. O'Briant.
Logan Circuit Court case number: 15-C-237