According to state legal journal the West Virginia Record, Kenneth Bevins filed his complaint in Kanawha County Court April 12 and named Apogee Coal as plaintiff.
Bevins was employed by Apogee from March 2003 through to October 8 of last year – the day he was seriously injured while operating a dump truck.
According to his suit documentation, Bevins said the bed limit switch failed as he was dumping rock and driving away, which allowed the bed to rise above pre-set limits.
When the bed topped out, he said, the hoist jacks were pulled apart which caused the bed to free fall.
The oil supply line subsequently broke, the Journal said, causing oil to spray on the truck’s engine, which resulted in a fire. The wind blew the fire into the cab, forcing the defendant to exit the driver’s side door.
However, when he attempted to reach for the cab’s exit ladder, it was blocked by the vehicle’s previously blown-out windshield. In his attempt to move it, his hair and back were singed.
The worker said his serious injuries stem from the burns as well as jumping from the dump truck’s cab.
He claims, the Journal reports, that the defendant had knowledge of the unsafe working condition as well as the risk it presented, and as a result he endured pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience, and the loss of ability to enjoy life.
Bevins and his wife Victoria are seeking an unknown amount of compensatory and punitive damages.
Filed formally as case 13-C-708, the case has been assigned to circuit court judge Carrie Webster.
The Bevins are being represented by J Michael Ranson and Cynthia Ranson of Ranson Law Offices.