A lawsuit brought by a former Beech Bend Amusement Park maintenance worker against his one-time employer is scheduled to go to trial near the end of next year.
Jason Trepanier sued Beech Bend owner Dallas Jones this year, claiming that he was wrongly fired by park management. Jones denies the allegations.
Trepanier, who is represented by Bowling Green attorney John Caudill, claims that Jones terminated his employment in retaliation for attempting to participate as a witness against Jones in a separate lawsuit involving sexual harassment claims.
The case came before Warren Circuit Judge John Grise on Monday for a status conference.
Attorneys for both sides said they anticipated that a trial would last nearly a week and appeared to agree that they would be ready to try the case in the fall.
Caudill said he anticipated four or five days would be necessary to try the case, while Bowling Green attorney Christopher Davenport, representing Beech Bend, said he believed the case could be tried in three or four days.
Trepanier has said in court filings that his termination in 2012 amounted to intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In his complaint filed in June, Trepanier claims that Jones hired a contractor to install drains that dumped raw sewage from the park into Barren River and allowed inexperienced and improperly trained employees to operate park rides.
Trepanier’s responsibilities at Beech Bend included cutting grass, groundskeeping, electrical and plumbing work, inspections and bringing safety issues to Jones’ attention.
He claims to have witnessed Jones engage in conduct that violated federal environmental and labor regulations, civil rights laws, state laws regulating operation and maintenance of rides at the park and FDA regulations pertaining to food served at Beech Bend.
Trepanier said he brought his concerns to Jones but was ignored and asked to “turn a blind eye” to the problems he claimed to have observed, the suit states.
According to the complaint, Jones directed employees to keep food items such as Pepsi products and leftover chicken fingers from past seasons to serve in the next season before using fresh items, despite objections from employees.
Trepanier also said he witnessed Jones engage in a number of forms of sexual harassment of female employees, including inappropriate sexual advances, inappropriate touching and requests for sexual favors, occasionally in exchange for continued employment or incentives such as raises.
Rather than inspections, Jones had employees “act as guinea pigs” to test the integrity of each ride prior to the start of the season in March and April, according to the lawsuit.