PINEVILLE — A Mercer County man is suing mining and energy companies, alleging wrongful termination.

Ricky M. Varney filed a complaint April 2 in Wyoming Circuit Court against Justice Highway Mining, Inc., Dynamic Energy, Inc., Bluestone Industries, Inc., and EIN Energy, LLC , alleging violation of the common law of West Virginia by terminating an employee when he refused to work in an unsafe condition.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 14, 2017, Varnay was discharged from his employment with the defendants after he refused to work on a bench where a blasting had occurred without adequate warning for the miners due to the safety concern that miners like himself could be struck by flyrock. 

Despite reporting to the defendants regarding the unsafe operating involving blades and buckets on an excavator machine, the suit says, the defendants ordered equipment, that according to Varney, was not safe for use. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants ignored employees' reports with regards to the safety of the equipment and continued to order the same equipment and disregard the rights of Varney by terminating his employment for refusing to work on unsafe work place.

Varney seeks trial by jury, reinstatement of position, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, injunctive relief, attorney fees, court costs, and all other relief the court deems just or equitable. He is represented by attorney Samuel B. Petsonk of Mountain State Justice, Inc. in Beckley.

Wyoming Circuit Court case number 18-C-41

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