WINFIELD - A Kanawha County man is alleging a public utility company is partially responsible for a fall he sustained at a Putnam County power plant two years ago.

Joshua C. Hughes named American Electric Power, and its subsidiary Allegheny Power in a personal injury lawsuit in Putnam Circuit Court.

In his complaint filed Feb. 8, Hughes alleges both AEP and Babcock and Wilcox Construction failed to inspect a column where he was working at the John E. Amos Power Plant in 2008 which gave way, and caused him to fall.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Babcock is named as a co-defendant in the suit.

According to his suit, Hughes was working for Babcock as a welder at John Amos on Feb. 13, 2008. At a place in the plant not specified in court records, Hughes was on a steel column and "was specifically directed by his said supervisor to proceed to an area to complete finish welding."

In the course of welding, Hughes alleges the railing attached to the column came undone causing him to fall 30 feet. Prior to starting the welding, Hughes was told by his supervisor it had been inspected.

In his suit, Hughes maintains both AEP and Babcock had a duty "to assure that adequate inspections were performed to directing [him] to perform welding duties." As a result of the fall, Hughes alleges he's suffered "pain and permanent personal injuries" which has resulted in him incurring "medical expenses, suffer[ing] past and future loss of wages, suffer[ing] continuing psychological/emotional/mental injury and loss of enjoyment of life."

Hughes seeks unspecified damages, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by Charleston attorney Henry E. Wood III.

The case is assigned to Judge Philip M. Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case number 10-C-50

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