Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries

A MINER injured in a 2010 West Virginia roof fall is seeking punitive and compensatory damages from Newtown Energy, Patriot Coal and Patriot subsidiary Kanawha Eagle Coal, claiming the companies breached their duty of care to maintain safe working conditions.
Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries Miner suing Patriot, Newtown for roof fall injuries

 

Donna Schmidt

According to legal journal the West Virginia Record, Brian Caldwell and wife Sharon filed the documents for the lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court May 18.

Caldwell said that he worked for Newtown Energy at the Eagle mine when he was struck on the head and neck August 3, 2010 by a section of mine roof.

The unconscious Caldwell was life-flighted to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he remained until August 5 with a concussion, neck sprain, head injury and sprains to the shoulder and upper right arm.

Caldwell claims in his suit, the Record said, that he suffered severe and debilitating headaches, dizziness, unexplained falling, cognitive difficulties and other ailments for months after his release. A July 2011 MRI revealed evidence of an organic brain injury, including atrophy or loss of brain tissue.

A November 2011 evaluation by a doctor and at the request of Ricwell of West Virginia and on behalf of his employer recommended a 12% whole body impairment award for the shoulder and neck injuries.

The worker said that Patriot, Newtown and Kanawha Eagle had knowledge of unsafe working conditions at the mine but did not remedy the unsafe conditions which presented a high degree of risk, the paper reported.

Also, Caldwell claimed that the trio had a duty of care which was breached when he was allowed to become injured in the roof fall, and their negligence has caused what he claims are serious and permanent injuries, pain and suffering.

The Caldwells are being represented by Robert Warner and Lynnette Simon Marshall, and the case – formally filed as 12-C-926 – has been sent to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

A request for comment from Patriot Coal was not returned Tuesday.

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