Rockspring's Camp Creek mine in Wayne County.

CHARLESTON - A Mingo County man has filed a suit against a state mine company after he was injured in one of its mines.

Danny Ray Ferguson filed a suit Nov. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Rockspring Development Inc., which operates Camp Creek No. 1 underground mine in East Lynn, which is in Wayne County.

Ferguson was a scoop operator for Rockspring. The Camp Creek mine is in an area comprised of multiple geologic anomalies, the suit says. These anomalies caused for some adverse conditions, including an unstable mine roof. Examples include kettlebottoms, which are columnar masses of rock, the preserved casts of ancient tree stumps, embedded in the roof strata.

According to the suit, kettlebottoms can and do commonly detach from the roof without warning, and present a risk of serious injury or death to underground miners.

On Aug. 6, 2007, Ferguson was walking through the mine, performing his normal duties, when a large kettlebottom -- about 59 inches wide by 53 inches long and 14 inches thick -- fell and crushed his right leg.

Ferguson claims he sustained severe injuries and is now permanently disabled.

Barbara Ferguson claims she has been deprived of the loss of society, companionship and consortium of her husband.

The Fergusons seek compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney L. Lee Javins is representing the Fergusons. The case has been assigned to Judge Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2426

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