LOGAN – A Mingo County man claims that a Holden coal company fired him after lung problems required him to return to work under a certain qualification.
Drewey E. Sincell filed a lawsuit in Logan Circuit Court against Aracoma Coal Co., alleging violations of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
According to the complaint, in December 2013, while Sincell was employed by Aracoma, he was hospitalized due to problems with his lungs. Sincell's physician set March 31, 2014, as the date he could return to work, under the qualification that he wear a dust mask while performing his employment duties.
Aracoma advised Sincell that he would have to undergo and pass a company-arranged physical exam and retraining before he could return to work. The suit states Sincell completed and passed the physical exam and retraining. However, Aracoma would not allow Sincell to return to work due to the physician's qualification that he wear a dust mask.
Sincell requested that his physician drop the qualification, but the physician refused. Sincell informed Aracoma that of the physician's refusal to remove the dust mask qualification. Aracoma, the suit alleges, then terminated Sincell, and, in June 2014, terminated his employer-sponsored health insurance plan.
The suit states Aracoma's actions were motivated by his temporary disability in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
Sincell seeks damages including lost wages, benefits, and punitive damages, plus interest and attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorneys Kendal E. Partlow and John C. Blair of Blair Law Offices in Logan. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Eric H. O'Briant.
Logan Circuit Court case number 15-C-161