BECKLEY – Retailer AutoZone Inc. says a former employee’s retaliatory discharge case should be tried in federal court, rather than state court, where it was originally filed.

The motion to remove the case was filed May 18 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Beckley Division.

Plaintiff Troy Stutler filed his original complaint April 20 in Greenbrier Circuit Court against AutoZoners LLC and Autozone Inc., alleging retaliatory discharge and violations of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Stutler, a commercial sales manager for AutoZone since 2013, claims he was unlawfully terminated in February 2015 after testifying in a co-worker’s lawsuit against AutoZone. Although he was reinstated three months later, Stutler claims he was again terminated on March 25, 2016 after objecting to payroll deductions for health insurance.

AutoZone argues the case falls under federal jurisdiction because the parties are in separate states and the amount in controversy tops $75,000.

Stutler seeks a jury trial and compensatory damages including lost wages, mental anguish and litigation costs. He is represented by attorneys Amy C. Crossan and Neil R. Bouchillon of Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn L.C. in Huntington.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Beckley Division Case number 5:16-cv-04442

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