USA Environment executive files affidavit to support transfer of oil cleanup suit

David Yates Apr. 21, 2011, 4:00am

An executive for USA Environment recently filed an affidavit in support of transferring a suit filed by three gulf oil cleanup workers claiming they were fired for refusing to disobey federal guidelines.

As previously reported, plaintiffs Steve Clayton, Roger Dowers and Dewey Woods filed suit against USA Environment, Trim Safety Solutions and MC-O Construction on Dec. 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show USA Environment contracted with MC-O to work on the Gulf Coast clean up of oil from the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

In order to assist in the cleanup, the Occupational Safety and Health Association requires companies to complete its Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response program.

The plaintiffs claim they were fired for refusing to perform the work without the federally required training, court papers say.

On Feb. 22 Mike Nalcpa, vice president of USA Environment, filed an affidavit in support of his company's motion to transfer venue.

In his affidavit, Nalcpa says his company did not contract with the plaintiffs and has no office in Jefferson County.

The motion to transfer venue was filed Dec. 21, court records show.

According to the plaintiffs' suit, MC-O did not want to spend the money or waste the time to have its employees trained and certified. Wyman Ogden, owner of MC-O, obtained false certificates of completion for his employees from Allen Trim, owner of Trim Safety.

"Plaintiffs were at-will employees who refused to commit an illegal act," the suit states. "Both plaintiffs were terminated because of the refusal. After they departed, MC-O sent employees to clean up the oil spill with false certificates."

The terminated employees are suing for exemplary damages and seek to recover back and future pay.

The suit accuses the defendants of conspiring to commit unlawful acts.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Anthony Malley III of the Beaumont law firm Moore Landrey.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. E188-910

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