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Former security guard accuses coal business of wrongful termination

WILLIAMSON A former security guard is suing a coal business, alleging wrongful termination in retaliation for seeking workers compensation leave. Ronnie Jordan of Wharncliffe filed the complaint in Mingo Circuit Court against DFM Coal, LLC and Gregory Blairalleging that they violated the Worker’s Compensation Discriminatory Practices Act and West Virginia Human Rights Act. According to the complaint, on June 21, 2016, Jordan was injured while working as a security guard at the defendant’s coal mine in Wharncliffe. The suit says he promptly filed for workers compensation benefits.

The suit says he was denied his compensation claim and he protested to the Office of Judges where a hearing was held in January. After the workers compensation claim was held compensable during the hearing, the lawsuit states, Jordan was terminated Feb. 23. As a result, Jordan says he has he suffered lost wages, benefits and humiliation. The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to give employees their right to a medical leave, failed to provide a safe working environment to avoid injuries and failed to provide legal reason before terminating an employee. Jordan seeks trial by jury, lost wages, benefits, back pay, front pay, all damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, court costs and all equitable relief. He is represented by attorney Steve S. Wolfe of Wolfe, White and Associates in Logan.

Mingo Circuit Court Case number 17-C-60

Rage against a machine: Man arrested for ‘assaulting’ 21-stone ROBOT security guard while drunk

Police have arrested a man after he drunkenly attacked a robot security guard in Silicon Valley. The 5-foot Knightscope K5 security robot, which bears a striking resemblance to a Dalek, was on patrol at the company’s offices in Mountain View, California, on Thursday night. It was “assaulted” by 41-year-old Jason Sylvain, who managed to knock it over – despite the droid weighing 300lbs, (over 21 stone).

The robot, which is equipped with a 360-degree camera and autonomous presence detection software, responded by sounding the alarm.

Rage Against A Machine: Man Arrested For 'assaulting' 21-stone ROBOT Security Guard While Drunk

Sylvain attempted to flee the scene, but was detained by one of Knightscope’s employees until the police arrived.

“The robot did exactly as it was supposed to do – the ‘assault’ was detected and immediately reported,” Knightscope’s VP of marketing and sales, Stacy Dean Stephens, told CNET[1]. According to a police spokeswoman, Sylvain “appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odour of alcohol emitted from him”. He claimed to be an engineer, and that he wanted to “test” the security robot. He was arrested for prowling and public intoxication.

Rage Against A Machine: Man Arrested For 'assaulting' 21-stone ROBOT Security Guard While Drunk

The robot reportedly suffered some scratches, but is already back on the street.

“The robot has recuperated from his injuries and is back on patrol keeping our office and employees safe again,” said Stephens.

Mountain View resident Eamonn Callon described the attack as “pathetic”.

“It shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn’t even have any arms,” he told ABC News[2].

References

  1. ^ CNET (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ ABC News (abc7news.com)

Vireo Health legal fight key to New York, Minnesota marijuana industry

CLOSEVireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry Vireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry

New York’s medical marijuana program was a boom for lobbyists firms. Yet 17,000 patients out of 200,000 that are eligible have been certified for the program, lohud’s David Robinson reports. Ricky Flores/lohud

Vireo Health Legal Fight Key To New York, Minnesota Marijuana Industry

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)(Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Desperate criminals made a daring smuggling run from Minnesota to New York in an armored SUV packed with $500,000 of marijuana oil. Or

Highly respected corporate officers quietly transported state-licensed medical marijuana from a Minnesota-based company to its affiliate in New York. These are the drastically different stories behind a high-profile Minnesota legal battle involving Vireo Health, the parent company of the medical marijuana dispensary in downtown White Plains.

Prosecutors have accused Dr. Laura Bultman and Ronald Owens, the company s former chief medical officer and security officer, of smuggling the drugs 1,200 miles to rescue Vireo from missing a deadline to open up shop in New York in 2016. On the other side, Paul Engh, the attorney for Bultman, has disputed that Minnesota s marijuana law bans shipping the drug across state borders, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court documents, and shifted focus onto why medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law despite being allowed in 28 states.

VIREO HEALTH: Marijuana smuggling scandal[1]

MONEY TRAIL: New York’s marijuana lobbying dollars top $2 million by applicants[2]

LIST: What lobbying firms got from New York’s medical marijuana applicants[3]

Engh s stance is detailed in a 12-page report urging a court to toss the felony drug charges against Bultman. It boils down to one question: How is it illegal for a licensed company’s officer to provide a drug to patients as defined by state law?

We believe the law is with us and are hopeful that the court agrees, Engh said, addressing the court documents in response to an inquiry by The Journal News/lohud. Other defense arguments in Engh’s filing touch on everything from a company’s definition as a person under Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that gave corporations protected rights, to a lack of clarity in Minnesota’s marijuana law.

“Any ambiguity as to the law s language and its application is to be resolved in Dr. Bultman s favor,” Engh wrote in court documents.

Still, the Vireo case has underscored why federal lawmakers idleness and a patchwork approach to state marijuana laws have muddled efforts to treat thousands of patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer and epilepsy. Nick Zerwas, a state representative in Minnesota, described the Vireo scandal as a flaw in that state s law.

When this (law) was moved through several years ago, there was a lot of discussion about the methods of delivery and how many dispensaries, he said, but not nearly enough discussion on insufficient legal leverages necessary to regulate and investigate and hold accountable this industry. Zerwas, who voted to legalize marijuana sales in 2014, has pushed new legislation seeking to tighten the law in the wake of the Vireo case.

The looming threat of the U.S. Justice Department closing down Minnesota s marijuana program also influenced Zerwas reform push.

It s incumbent upon us to act swiftly and signify that the state of Minnesota can handle this, Zerwas said. Vireo Health executives have said little about the situation. Andrew Mangini, a company spokesman, noted medical marijuana sales continue in New York, including a recent launch of a home delivery service to eligible patients in New York City.

We take our legal obligations and regulatory responsibilities in this area very seriously, he said. And will cooperate with the relevant agencies while maintaining our focus on patients who suffer from life-threatening and debilitating diseases like cancer and ALS, and who deserve best-in-class medical cannabis products and compassionate care.”

While federal authorities at the Justice Department would not say if they are investigating the Vireo case, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Barbara Carreno spoke to its prior hands-off approach as state marijuana laws piled up since 2013.

The Cole Memo

Traditionally, the DEA has targeted eight criminal activities by marijuana businesses under a policy that says no to drugged driving, sales to minors, interstate smuggling, and using cannabis-based profits in connection to other crimes.

You have seen over the last few years there have continued to be raids on dispensaries in California and Colorado because they had to do with these eight things, said Carreno. It all stemmed from a 2013 policy, commonly called the Cole memo, and named after a former Justice Department lawyer, James Cole, who established federal law enforcement s approach to the states that legalized marijuana, for medical and/or recreational use.

Cole s memo remains in place as feds await the newly appointed attorney general s marching orders for an apparent federal crackdown on marijuana. At a law enforcement gathering in February, Sessions cited the increased legalization of marijuana, an issue he long railed against while an Alabama senator, as contributing to a culture of acceptance, USA Today reported.[4]

“I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if (marijuana) is being sold from every corner grocery store,” he said. Some medical marijuana advocates have voiced concerns about Sessions apparent attempt to lump together medicinal and recreational uses of the drug, despite his lack of policy details and Congress effectively banning raids on state-approved medical marijuana in 2014.

Sessions general tougher-on-crime stance, however, suggests a drastic turnaround from recent efforts to remove marijuana from the discussion of more dangerous narcotics.

“We don’t need to be legalizing marijuana, and we need to be cracking down on heroin,’ Sessions said.

Read or Share this story: http://lohud.us/2q4mFh1

References

  1. ^ VIREO HEALTH: Marijuana smuggling scandal (www.lohud.com)
  2. ^ MONEY TRAIL: New York’s marijuana lobbying dollars top $2 million by applicants (www.lohud.com)
  3. ^ LIST: What lobbying firms got from New York’s medical marijuana applicants (www.lohud.com)
  4. ^ USA Today reported. (www.lohud.com)