CHARLESTON – A Putnam County woman is suing a fuel company and an employee charged with safety supervision after her husband died at work.

Sharon Workman, as an individual and representative of John Gregory Workman's estate, filed a lawsuit April 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Appalachian Fuels and Bobby D. Barker.

The complaint says John was assigned to fix a Caterpillar bulldozer, which had been losing power.

To diagnose the problem, John had to remove a heavy skid plate on the bulldozer. The complaint says John supported the skid plate with a chain connected to a crane.

But the complaint says the hinge on the skid plate was in disrepair and the plate was filled with oil, grease and debris. As John removed the mounting bolts on the plate, it fell on top of him.

He died of suffocation, the complaint says.

Workman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Guy Bucci and Otis R. Mann Jr. are representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-647

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