WHEELING -- A Pittsburgh man has filed a suit in federal court against the City of Wheeling and Anthony Wayne Oil Corporation of West Virginia Inc. following an injury.

William Cross works as a service technician for Konica Minolta Medical Imaging, and on Jan. 15, 2007, he had traveled to Wheeling to perform services for the Radiology Department at Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC). OVMC is located across from Center Wheeling Parking Garage, which is where Cross had parked.

Filed on Aug. 1, the suit states that as Cross was leaving the parking garage, he headed down a handicapped access ramp. The access ramp was in a state of disrepair and had uneven pavement, causing Cross to trip, slip, and finally fall.

Filed by Bernard Marcus of the Pittsburgh firm of Marcus & Shapira, the suit states that when Cross fell, he twisted his left ankle so badly that the bone broke the skin. He laid on the ground for 30 minutes before an ambulance came to take him to OVMC. There he was diagnosed with a trimalleolar fracture of the left ankle, and he was taken immediately to surgery. A plate and screws were installed in his ankle, and he was forced to remain at OVMC for three days.

However, even after his three-day stint at OVMC, he was still unable to walk and spent more than a year using a walker and finally a cane after his Jan. 31, 2008, surgery to remove the plate and screws from his ankle. Following the first surgery, he was also diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the tibiotalar joint and reflex sympathetic dystrophy or causalgia and likely permanent burning pain in a limb when its peripheral nerve has been traumatized. He was also unable to work for 10 months.

Cross alleges that both the City of Wheeling and Anthony Wayne Oil Corporation were negligent and should have known about the uneven pavement, considering that at some point it was haphazardly patched.

The asphalt patching actually covered the yellow paint, which would warn a pedestrian that it had a vertical edge exceeding a quarter inch. He also claims that as a direct result of their negligence he has suffered past, present, and future medical expenses and out of pocket expenses; loss of earnings and enjoyment of life's pleasures; and severe physical, psychological, and emotional pain and suffering.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Cross is seeking a trial by jury to award compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 from the City of Wheeling and $75,000 from Anthony Wayne Oil Corporation as well as interest and costs.

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