Williamson newspaper denies claim it caused man's injury
Kelly Holleran Sep. 30, 2009, 12:00pm
HUNTINGTON – The Williamson Daily News denies a man's allegations that it deliberately caused injuries to the man's right hand when it got caught in a printing machine.
Faron Williamson, his wife Barbara Elaine Williamson and his infant son Faron Keith Williamson filed a complaint July 24 in Mingo Circuit Court against Heartland Publication, doing business as Williamson Daily News.
The Williamsons say Faron Williamson was operating a printing machine for Heartland on April 13, 2007, when his right hand suddenly was caught in the machine.
According to the complaint, Faron Williamson's hand got caught in the machine because he was not adequately trained and was not provided with proper equipment to work around it.
Although he has already filed for workers' compensation, Faron Williamson filed his lawsuit with allegations against Heartland of providing unsafe working conditions and of deliberate intent.
As a result of the incident, Williamson suffered severe injuries to his dominant right hand, experienced physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress and psychological injuries and incurred medical bills, the suit states. In addition, he experienced a diminished income, lost wages and lost his enjoyment of life, the complaint says.
In addition, Barbara Williamson and Faron Keith Williamson claim they have lost their husband's and father's support, services and consortium.
The Williamsons are seeking compensatory damages on top of the amount they receive from workers' compensation, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.
Heartland says the Williamsons are entitled to none of the relief they are seeking and is asking the case be dismissed.
It denies all of the Williamsons' allegations against it and says the Williamsons should not even be allowed to file the lawsuit because West Virginia workers' compensation law forbids it.
In addition, Fallon Williamson failed to follow warnings that Heartland had given him regarding the printing machine, the suit states.
In its answer to the Williamsons' complaint, Heartland is asking for costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.
Because Heartland is a Delaware corporation and the Williamsons are West Virginia residents, a diversity of citizenship exists. Therefore, Heartland removed the case to federal court. In addition, the Williamsons are seeking more than $75,000.
John C. Blair of Blair Law Offices in Logan will be representing the Williamsons.
Heartland will be represented by Lee Murray Hill and Nathanial A. Kuratomi of Jenkins Fenstermaker in Huntington.
U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-cv-965