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Second hygienist files lawsuit against New Martinsville dental practice, claims sexual harassment

Lawsuits

By Chris Dickerson | Apr 15, 2019


NEW MARTINSVILLE – A second dental hygienist has filed a lawsuit against a New Martinsville practice, this one claiming sexual harassment and constructive discharge.

Chelsea Rosenlieb filed her complaint April 12 in Wetzel Circuit Court against New Martinsville Dental, Dr. Andrea Lockhart and Adam Pendleton.

In the complaint, the 24-year-old Rosenlieb says she worked at the practice for less than a year until leaving March 13. She says she “sought and obtained employment elsewhere to get away from Adam Pendleton,” adding that she “could not handle the hostile work environment due to the sexual harassment.”

She claims Pendleton engaged in various sexual harassment behaviors during her eight months at the practice.

Some of the actions listed in the complaint include calling and texting Rosenlieb on the weekends, making comments that she didn’t seem happy with her fiancé. attempting to get her to sit on his lap at work and trying to get her alone in and out of the office.

Also, when the practice moved to a new location, Rosenlieb says she helped pack and move equipment. Pendleton was there.

“Pendelton informed the plaintiff that the cameras in the office were off and that he liked her and couldn’t control himself around her,” the complaint states. “The plaintiff responded that she was there to help pack up to move and nothing more. Defendant Pendleton stated to the plaintiff that packing and moving was not his intention that day.”

Also, she describes another incident from that day.

“Pendleton noticed that the floor below one of the dental chairs was wet,” the complaint states. “Defendant Pendleton then made a sexual innuendo comment to the plaintiff, ‘Floor’s wet. I wonder what else I can make wet.’”

Lockhart, who was the girlfriend of Pendleton, was made aware of allegations he was acting improperly around employees.

“Lockhart brushed off the allegations and stated they were simple miscommunications,” the complaint states. “She further stated that a simple touch on the shoulder must have been taken out of context.”

After Lockhart learned of the claims against Pendleton, Rosenlieb says she and other employees were victims of retaliation.

“Employees were no longer allowed to speak unless it was work related,” the complaint states. “If an employee did not have a patient or other work to do, they were not permitted around other employees but were to sit quietly at their station.”

Rosenlieb accuses the defendants of sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She seeks compensatory damages for past and future lost wages, future lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation, inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief.

Last month, another former employee filed a lawsuit against the practice, Lockhart and Pendleton. Karen Ullom, 56, claims she was a victim of a retaliatory firing and discrimination.

She says she worked as a hygienist at the office for 33 years and didn’t have problems until Pendleton joined the practice in July 2018. Lockhart took over the practice in January 2018.

Rosenlieb is being represented by Teresa Toriseva and Jake Polverini of Toriseva Law in Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David Hummel.

Wetzel Circuit Court case number 19-C-32

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Toriseva Law Wetzel Circuit Court

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