CHARLESTON — A Kanawha County man is suing a Kentucky mining company, alleging racial discrimination.

James Hairston filed a complaint May 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Panther Creek Mining LLC, Blackhawk Mining LLC, both of Lexington, Kentucky, and Mark George, alleging they refused to hire the plaintiff due to his race.

According to the complaint, Hairston, who began working for the defendant in 2010, has suffered damages from being discriminated against. The plaintiff alleges after the defendant took over the Winchester Mine in 2015, it hired back the majority of the work force but not Hairston or other black employees.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants refused to hire the plaintiff due to his complaints about safety at the Winchester Mine and for being black.

Hairston seeks trial by jury, compensatory damages, reinstatement, punitive damages, interest, injunctive relief, all legal fees and all other relief the court deems just. He is represented by attorney Samuel B. Petsonk of Mountain State Justice Inc. in Charleston.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 17-C-651

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