PRINCETON — A Mercer County worker sued his former employer and an affiliated energy company for injuries sustained in a 2014 incident.

James Randolph Steele filed a lawsuit Feb. 25 in Mercer Circuit Court against Appalachian Power Co. and Cebridge Telecom WV, doing business as Suddenlink Communications, alleging negligence for work-related injuries that left him permanently disabled.

According to the complaint, on July 17, 2014, Steele, an employee of Suddenlink, was directed to install television cable service for area customers by ascending a wooden pole owned and maintained by both defendants. While he was climbing the pole, it collapsed and threw Steele to the ground.

The pole was rotted near the ground and had not been safely inspected or maintained, the suit states. Steele alleges negligence, maintaining the installation should otherwise have been routine, and that he should not have sustained permanent serious injuries.

The plaintiff cites pain, suffering and disability, medical expenses, loss of income and work opportunity, and diminished enjoyment of life.

Steele seeks damages of $10 million, plus attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorney Raeann Osbourne of Johnston, Holroyd and Associates in Princeton.

Mercer Circuit Court case number 15-C-69-WS

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