West Virginia Record

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Coal miner files class-action against Justice-owned Bluestone Industries alleging it failed to pay final checks on time

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 8, 2020


BECKLEY – A Raleigh County resident filed a class-action lawsuit against Bluestone Industries claiming it violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act when it failed to pay dozens of laid-off coal miners.

Jillean L. Justice, James C. Justice III and James T. Miller were also named as defendants in the suit.

Christopher Cook claims he was laid off on Dec. 3, along with dozens of other coal miners, according to a complaint filed Dec. 20 in Raleigh Circuit Court.

Cook alleges he and the other coal miners were to be paid their final paycheck on Dec. 13, but the defendants still hadn't paid as of Dec. 20.

The defendants owed all wages by the next payday as per the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act and violated that act when it failed to pay the wages on time, the suit states.

"Defendant Bluestone has violated the WVWPCA by failing to pay the plaintiff, and others similarly situated, all wages due by Dec. 13, 2019," the complaint states.

Cook claims the individual defendants are personally liable for the conduct of the company since they direct, control and effectuate the actions of Bluestone.

"Upon information and belief, the members of the class are too numerous to be practicably joined," the complaint states. "There are common questions of law or fact to the class, including resolution of the factual and legal claims raised herein. The claims of the named plaintiff are typical of the claims of the class."

Cook claims he will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Cook is seeking payment of all wages due with liquidated damages, interest, costs and attorney's fees. He is represented by Anthony M. Salvatore and Greg A. Hewitt of Hewitt & Salvatore and Anthony J. Majestro of Powell & Majestro.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 19-C-527

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