MARTINSBURG – A man is suing PNGI Charles Town Gaming after he claims it caused him damages when it attempted to eject him from training horses at its track in an alleged attempt to “take his livelihood” from him.
Harold Dodson was working as a trainer for the Charles Town Race Track and on Dec. 7, 2015, he received a letter informing him that the stalls that had been previously allocated to him had been revoked and that he had 14 days to remove his personal belongings from the stalls, according to a complaint filed in Jefferson Circuit Court and removed to federal court on April 27.
Dodson claims two days later he received another letter advising him that he was being ejected for an indefinite period for conduct “detrimental to the best interest of racing,” and his two horses that were scheduled to race that evening were barred from racing.
On Dec. 11, 2015, Dodson filed a request for stay and appeal of his ejection with the West Virginia Racing Commission, and the commission ordered the race track to provide Dodson with a short, plain statement of the improper action or objectionable behavior justifying his ejection, which the defendant failed to do, according to the suit.
Dodson claims on April 19, 2016, the commission issued its final decision and order, where it found that PNGI violated the statutory written notice requirements and upheld his appeal as a result.
The ejectment of the plaintiff caused him to be forced to engage in a fire-sale/giveaway of horses he had on PNGI’s premises and further caused him to lose future opportunities for business development/horse acquisitions that had been promised to him by another horse owner and trainer, according to the suit.
Dodson claims he suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the defendant’s attempt to take his livelihood from him.
Dodson is seeking loss of earnings in the amount of $10,000, a loss of assets valued at $100,000 and punitive damages. He is represented by Christian J. Riddell.
The defendant is represented by J. Tyler Mayhew and Charles F. Printz Jr. of Bowles Rice.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:18-cv-00060