WILLIAMSON – A man is suing KC Transport after he claims his employment was wrongfully terminated.
Blackhawk Mining LLC is also named as a defendant in the suit.
Bobby Randall Steele was hired by KC Transport to provide coal haul services in Mingo County in January 2015, according to a complaint filed July 14 in Mingo Circuit Court.
Steele claims on Feb. 4, during the course of scope of his employment, he was injured when the coal truck he was operating collided with a parked 980 loader whose headlights were off.
The loader was parked around a Blackhawk haul road in which Steele was required to travel and operated by a Blackhawk employee, according to the suit. Additionally, the loader was on Blackhawk Mining’s property.
Steele claims he immediately reported his injury to his foreman, Eddie Compton, and an accident report regarding the collision was completed by both Blackhawk and KC Transport supervisors.
After the Feb. 4 injury, KC Transport did not place Steele back on the work schedule and on Feb. 18, he was informed that he was being laid-off due to economic reasons, according to the suit.
Steele claims KC Transport actively engaged in hiring other individuals as coal truck operators after he received the termination letter.
Additionally, sometime prior to his employment, the plaintiff had been diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy and KC Transport had knowledge of the condition and a few days after his injury, he was informed he could no longer be employed by KC Transport because he couldn’t see, according to the suit.
Steele claims the defendants violated West Virginia code and the West Virginia Human Rights Act.
The defendants also wrongfully terminated Steele’s employment in retaliation and due to his injury, according to the suit.
Steele is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Nathan D. Brown and Joshua S. Ferrell of Ferrell & Brown PLLC.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Miki Thompson.
Mingo Circuit Court case number: 16-C-127