Bianca Fletcher, a former Arkansas Department of Corrections employee who alleges that she “was fired, purportedly for being deceptive” on a Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) “test,” has filed a federal lawsuit against NITV, LLC, NITV Federal Services, LLC, their founder, Charles Humble, NITV employee Gene Shook, and two “John Does.”
Fletcher claims damages for “libel, slander, false light, illegal exaction, negligence, and products liability, in an amount exceeding that required for diversity jurisdiction.”
Fletcher’s 6-page Complaint, filed on 18 May 2020, alleges the following general facts:
- Plaintiff worked for the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC), starting in 2016.
- Plaintiff was terminated on May 16, 2019, at which time she was a Correctional Officer II.
- Plaintiff had come to work, and an Adani body scanning device, known to be faulty, purported to detect contraband on Plaintiff’s person.
- Plaintiff did not have contraband on her person.
- From the point of the purported detection of contraband, Plaintiff was at all times accompanied or watched by ADC personnel until such time as she was strip searched.
- For most of the time, up until she was strip searched, Plaintiff was videoed.
- No person ever saw Plaintiff, Fletcher, get rid of or hand off any contraband.
- No recording device ever showed her get rid of or hand off any contraband.
- When Plaintiff was strip searched, no contraband was found.
- This was because Plaintiff had no contraband.
- Plaintiff was given a voice stress analyzer test, which she passed.
- Plaintiff was given a second voice stress analyzer (VSA) test, in which it was claimed Plaintiff was deceptive and lying when asked about the purported contraband.
- The voice stress analyzer test result, purporting to show that Plaintiff was deceptive, was false. Plaintiff was not lying or being deceptive. She answered all questions honestly.
- Plaintiff was fired, purportedly for being deceptive, based on the second VSA result.
- The NITV sold the VSA that gave the test to Plaintiff to the ADC.
- The NITV sells VSA devices to government agencies and private companies all over the United States.
- The NITV claims that the VSA devices it sells can detect falsehoods and lies in advertisements and marketing materials. These devices are marketed to law enforcement agencies, such as the ADC, and private corporations, under the premise that these agencies and businesses can use these devices to determine when employees are lying for purposes of carrying out discipline.
- This is false, and it is known to be false by the NITV. Studies have shown that VSA devices are about as likely to catch deception and lies as tossing a coin. An observant witch doctor would almost certainly do better. NITV has never subjected its devices to peer review. NITV has never conducted double blind tests to establish the effectiveness of its devices. NITV did not develop these devices using the scientific method.
- NITV trains people working for agencies and companies to operate these devices. It tells them how to determine falsehoods and deceptive statements, but of course, this is bogus.
- NITV’s trainers frequently consult on cold calls from the agencies they sell these materials to.
- Shook consulted with an ADC employee who gave Plaintiff, Fletcher, the VSA test and claimed that Plaintiff was deceptive on that test.
- As a result of NITV’s and Shook’s conduct Plaintiff’s reputation was harmed, and she was fired.
The complaint goes on to enumerate five counts against the defendants and demands a jury trial. The third count includes the allegation that “NITV has committed a fraud on the state of Arkansas, selling it devices that do not work, which it knows do not work, and also selling bogus training on these devices” (emphasis added). Fletcher seeks compensatory damages in excess of $1,000,000 and punitive damages in excess of $1,000,000.
In a 12-page Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint, also filed on 18 May 2020, defendants NITV Federal Services, LLC, Charles Humble, and Gene Shook deny any liability and request that the complaint be dismissed.
The civil suit is case number 4:20-CV-00521-LPR in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Update 4 May 2021: This lawsuit was settled in mediation on 8 January 2021 and was dismissed by stipulation of the parties on 16 April 2021. Terms of the settlement have not been publicly disclosed.