BECKLEY— A class-action lawsuit was filed against Bluestone Industries, which is owned by Gov. Jim Justice's adult children, amid allegations that Bluestone employees received bad checks in February.
Kenneth Cozart filed the lawsuit against Bluestone Industries, Jillean Justice, James C. Justice III and James Miller in March in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. An amended complaint was filed in April.
The complaint said Cozart is employed by the defendants and was issued a paycheck on Feb. 23 that he attempted to deposit into his account. The check bounced and Cozart was charged bad check fees.
The plaintiffs alleged Bluestone then wired the wages to the plaintiff and the class members, but they were charged wire transfer fees for the payments.
Cozart claims the bounced checks issue had happened on several prior occasions, in violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Cozart and the class members are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Anthony J. Majestro of Powell & Majestro and Anthony M. Salvatore of Hewitt & Salvatore.
Majestro and Salvatore also represent James T. Bradley and Garret Lambert, as well as a separate class that allegedly holds bad check claims against Bluestone joint venture partner Legacy Land Management, Kenneth Lambert and Sherri Lambert. The suit against Legacy was filed in January and amended in April.
In the Legacy lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim bad checks were issued in December, although the funds were eventually wired to the class members. In addition, the Legacy plaintiffs allege that truckers were not given their truck stipends and they incurred transfer fees from getting the paychecks through the wire service.
Salvatore's website mentions that Bluestone and Legacy are involved in a joint venture.