CHARLESTON - A Charleston man says he was struck in the leg by mining equipment during an unsafe replacement operation.

Larry Totten is suing Maptona in Kanawha Circuit Court, claiming the company did not provide for his safety while working at the Essex Mine. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 30.

Totten claims that he was part of a group of employees replacing the ripper head of a continuous mining machine on Dec. 28, 2004, when he was injured.

"The section foreman directed the ripper head be hoisted by a chain that was secured to the roof of the mine by hooking the end of the chain to a roof bolt plate," the complaint says. "As the ripper head was being hoisted into the air, the chain used to suspend it disengaged from the roof bolt plate, causing the ripper head to fall and strike the plaintiff in the area of his left leg and knee, causing severe injury thereto."

Totten called the replacement an unreasonably dangerous working condition "which represented a high degree of risk and strong probability of severe injury or death."

Totten adds that he has endured medical procedures and expenses like medications, as well as lost wages and loss of enjoyment of life. Also cited as claims for compensation are pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, annoyance and inconvenience and scarring and disfigurement.

Maptona is a West Virginia corporation with offices in Boomer, says the complaint.

Totten is represented by Norman White of Shaffer and Shaffer. His wife Linda makes a claim for loss of consortium.

Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2560

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