MAYFIELD, Ky. (NewsNation Now) — An attorney representing employees suing a candle factory after alleging they weren’t allowed to go home early when the weather started to get bad tells NewsNation they were hurt when the company insisted they weren’t telling the truth.
“What really concerned these clients is that while they were recovering and telling their stories, they were accused of lying about having been told that they would face repercussions, including termination, if they left their jobs,” said Amos Jones, an attorney representing employees, on “NewsNation Prime” on Sunday. “And that really hurt.”
Jones says he has approximately 10 clients, but the lawsuit is inclusive of the 102 people who survived the tornado that demolished the Kentucky candle factory.
“Many of them were hospitalized, some of them are having to go back for medical treatment,” Jones said. “There’s permanent nerve damage. There are people with mobility problems, people who need assisted living in a sense, and the injuries are bad.”
Bob Ferguson, a spokesperson for Mayfield Consumer Products, responded to the lawsuit.
“We have had multiple managers and lawyers look through the lawsuits and none of them have any merit,” Ferguson said. “We are retaining a team of safety experts to come in and review our processes.”
Said Jones in response: “Our evidence refutes that and we don’t file meritless lawsuits here.”
Ferguson previously insisted that employees were free to leave anytime, and he denied that they would have faced retribution if they left the factory.
“Numerous workers were told that if they were to leave, then they would be punished,” Jones said. “And we have corroborating witness, real time evidence of that and other items. And it was unfortunate because some factories were closed in light of the warnings since early in the afternoon.”
The lawsuit was filed less than a week after the storms that began Friday night destroyed lives and property from Arkansas to Illinois and in parts of neighboring states, carving a more than 200-mile path through Kentucky alone.