BECKLEY – A judge has denied a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit alleging the defendants violated the WARN Act during a mass layoff.

The lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger.

Because the plaintiff filed his complaint within five years of the defendants’ alleged WARN Act violations, his complaint is timely and the motion to dismiss should be denied, according to the Aug. 31 memorandum opinion and order.

“The Court finds, as it has on at least two prior occasions, that West Virginia’s Wage Payment and Collection Act is the state law most closely analogous to the WARN Act,” the memo states. “Thus, the five-year statute of limitations applicable to the WVWPCA also applies to WARN Act claims in West Virginia.”

Dougie Lester filed the lawsuit on Jan. 20 against Pay Car Mining, Bluestone Industries, Bluestone Coal Corp., Keystone Service Industries and Mechel Bluestone.

Lester was a full-time employee of the defendants for more than two years until he was laid off without prior written notice on Oct. 20, 2012.

The defendants’ actions violated the WARN Act, according to the suit.

Lester is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Samuel B. Petsonk and Bren J. Pomponion of Mountain State Justice.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00740

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