Work injury led to bankruptcy, man's suit says

WELLSBURG - An Ohio man and his family have filed a suit against a West Virginia steel company after he became ill and was forced to file for bankruptcy to help pay for his medical expenses. Joe Charlton, his wife Vickie and daughter Shasta filed a suit July 11 in Brooke Circuit Court against Cintas Corporation and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation. Charlton, who lives in Belmont County, Ohio, was employed by Wheeling-Pittsburg as a coke oven door cleaner at its facility in Brooke County. While working as the oven door cleaner Charlton was exposed to the emissions and other hazardous byproducts. As a result, Charlton developed a severe neurological injury and is disabled. Cintas is named as a defendant because it supplies the respirators and respirator cartridges used on site by Charlton at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel. The suit claims the respirators did not do their job and failed to properly protect Charlton. Vickie Charlton claims she has lost the financial support of her husband as well as his general services, companionship and society. Shasta Charlton also claims she has lost and will continue to lose the financial support of her father. Joe Charlton claims that as a result of his neurological damage, he cannot earn a living and was forced to file for bankruptcy. The Charltons seek compensatory and punitive damages. The case has been assigned to Judge James Mazzone. Brooke Circuit Court case number 07-C-119

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