CHARLESTON - Two men claim a fireball severely burned them while they were working and our suing their employer.

Albert Nutgrass and Michael Brock filed suit Aug. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Equitable Production Company.

They say they were performing work at the Glenville Compressor Station on Oct. 6 that is owned and operated by Equitable, replacing valves at the station which was shut down during the construction.

They say they were told there was no gas in the pipelines they were cleaning and preparing for valve replacement.

Even after a gas detector could find no gas in the pipe, the two men say, "While using the grinder, the plaintiffs… heard a rushing noise and were then struck by a flash of fire."

Nutgrass says he got the worst of it, suffering severe second- and third-degree burns and was airlifted to Cabell Huntington Hospital. His medical bills so far have totaled $60,000 for the injuries to his upper torso, face and arms.

Brock was taken to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital for his injuries, which he says have cost him $20,000 so far.

The two seek compensatory damages for future medical expenses, lost wages, a loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, permanent injury, impairment of the capacity to enjoy life, aggravation, annoyance and mental anguish.

Brock's wife Jessica is suing for loss of consortium.

Robert Berthold of Berthold, Tiano and O'Dell in Charleston is representing the plaintiffs.

Judge Louis Bloom has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1749

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