HUNTINGTON – The city of Huntington and former officer Joshua Nield have responded to a lawsuit alleging Nield sexually harassed two women while he was working for the Huntington Police Department.
In Nield’s answer to the complaint, which was filed June 30, he claims the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and should be dismissed.
“Defendant is immune from the allegations contained in the complaint pursuant to the provisions of…The Governmental Tort Claims and Insurance Reform Act,” according to the answer.
Nield claims the plaintiffs were guilty of fault or negligence equal to or greater than his negligence, if any, and that the action of the plaintiffs is barred by the doctrine of comparative negligence.
Nield denied the majority of the allegations contained within the complaint.
The city filed its answer to the complaint on July 3. It also claimed the plaintiffs complaint failed to state a claim and should be dismissed.
In response to the specific allegations contained in plaintiffs’ complaint, the city denies any liability, the answer states.
The city claims it is entitled to qualified immunity because it did not violate any known rights of the plaintiffs.
The city denies that it violated any of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, caused the plaintiffs to suffer any injury or is liable to the plaintiffs, according to the city’s answer.
On March 14, 2015, A.E. and E.W. visited Stonewall, a nightclub in Huntington, and, on their way to enter the nightclub, Nield was parked outside, as he was patrolling the area. When they left the nightclub, they drove to McDonald’s on Fifth Avenue. Nield followed them and threatened to arrest them on DUI charges.
The plaintiffs claim Nield told them if they went to Captain D’s with him, he would not arrest them and they feared for their safety and agreed.
After a brief conversation, Nield instructed the plaintiffs to exit their vehicle and, while they were standing outside their car in a steady rain, Nield informed them they would have to “do stuff” in order to avoid going to jail, including doing the Macarena and the little tea pot dance, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim Nield placed them in separate pairs of handcuffs, rubbing his genitalia against them during the process. He also asked, them “how does it feel to be completely and utterly restrained?”
Nield also proceeded to drive the plaintiffs around Huntington recklessly and at excessive speeds while running red lights, according to the suit. He also allegedly rubbed their legs, breasts and other private areas.
The plaintiffs claim Huntington was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable or slight care to protect the plaintiffs from harm at the hands of its personnel, agents, officers and/or employees.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Timothy L. Eves of Eves Law Firm.
Nield is represented by Steven K. Nord and Ryan Q. Ashworth of Offutt Nord Burchett PLLC.
The city is represented by Lee Murray Hall and Nathanial A. Kuratomi of Jenkins Fenstermaker.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-01885