HUNTINGTON – A Wayne man is suing Huntington Alloys after he claims his employment was wrongfully terminated.
Taeger Osburn was hired by the defendant in 1995, according to a complaint filed May 12 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Osburn claims he was set up on a collective bargaining agreement for alcohol and the agreement assures that an employee who has successfully completed participation in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation will not, as a consequence of that participation, jeopardize their job security and/or promotional opportunities.
On May 11, 2015, there was an inspection scheduled for the plant by the city of Huntington, according to the suit. Osburn had worked his previous shift and dropped the company car off to Bill Ferris at 7 a.m. and was hosing out the tanks so they would be clean when Ferris showed up around 10 a.m.
Osburn claims Ferris asked if the plaintiff had noticed the car from the previous night and he advised him that he had not. The plaintiff and Ferris walked to the car where Ferris showed the plaintiff a long scrape.
The plaintiff informed Ferris that he did not know how it got on the car and Ferris told the plaintiff he thought it was caused by Nancy Mays, according to the suit. The plaintiff did not give input and simply advised Ferris that he did not know and went back to work.
Osburn claims he worked until approximately 2 p.m. and went home, where he got approximately four hours of sleep and returned to work. At approximately 10:50 p.m., the plaintiff was clocking in to work and Mays was at the gate with the car and was examining the scrape.
The car was approximately 20 feet from where employees clocked in and Osburn started toward the car when Mays started pointing her finger and speaking loud, fast and angry at him.
Osburn claims Mays stated that she did not cause the scrape on the car. Osburn got into the car and backed up, but Mays kept speaking loudly, so he pulled forward and asked her what her problem was. She said he was her problem, so he then backed out and went on to work.
At approximately 9 a.m., Tom Bell approached him and told him that he needed to take a drug screening, according to the suit.
Osburn claims Mays alleged that he had tried to attack her and run over her with the car and Bell then escorted him into the safety office where Lonnie Napier, the shop steward for the Yard Department, met them to represent the plaintiff.
The plaintiff told his version of the events and took the drug screening as asked, and it came up inconclusive, so he had to be taken to an external site to test, where he submitted to a second drug test, according to the suit.
Osburn claims Napier informed him that he was suspended until the results of the drug test came back, but was told he could go back to work if the results came back clean. The second test came back inconclusive and Osburn submitted to another test, which came back clean.
On June 1, 2015, Thompson called Osburn and told him that he had been fired, according to the suit. On June 15, 2015, Mays and the plaintiff both gave testimony as to their version of the events that took place on May 11, 2015.
Osburn claims he later received a letter in the mail informing him that the union was not going to arbitrate the grievance.
The defendant wrongfully terminated Osburn’s employment and caused him mental anguish, worry, distress, loss of income and substantial annoyance and inconvenience, according to the suit.
Osburn is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Donald R. Jarrell of the Law Offices of Donald R. Jarrell.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 17-C-299