BECKLEY — Automotive service providers are suing First Community Bank and First Community Bancshares Inc., joint venture companies, citing alleged negligence, defamation and slander.

Jerry S. Kessler and Jarrell’s Exxon filed a complaint on July 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against the defendants, alleging that they tortiously interfered with their business relationships.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Jerry S. Kessler and Jarrell’s Exxon suffered more than $75,000 in lost profits and injuries to their business and personal reputations, humiliation, shame, anxiety, stress and worry, and that such losses will continue despite all efforts to ameliorate. The plaintiffs holds First Community Bank and First Community Bancshares Inc. responsible because the defendants' employees allegedly maliciously advised the defendants that their customers' debit and/or credit cards were being compromised during use at Jarrell’s. The defendants also canceled their customers' debit and/or credit cards solely because they were used at Jarrell’s, the suit says.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally, for compensatory damages, consequential damages, punitive damages; pre- and post-judgment interest and such other relief to which they may be entitled. They are represented by Marvin W. Masters of The Masters Law Firm in Charleston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number 5:16-cv-06067

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