WAYNE -- A Lawrence County, Ohio, man is suing the Wayne County Commission after he was injured while he was a part of the Western Regional Day Report Center.
Cabell County Commission, Western Regional Day Report Center, Community Criminal Justice Board and Tom Blevins were also named as defendants in the suit.
On Feb. 5, 2011, Aaron S. Fitzpatrick and other participants in the Western Regional Day Report Center were placed under the control and supervision of Blevins, according to a complaint filed Jan. 30 in Wayne Circuit Court.
Fitzpatrick claims upon arriving, Blevins explained that he was a retired police officer, that he was armed and called his side-arm his "friend" and if he and the other participants gave him any trouble "they would be dealing with 'his friend.'"
Later that day, Blevins directed Fitzpatrick to work on adding tool racks to a WRDRC tool trailer by removing wooden tool racks that were nailed to the walls of the garage by pulling out the nails that secured the boards, according to the suit.
Fitzpatrick claims while pulling on a nail that was at or just above eye level, Blevins called him a derogatory term and chastised him to pull harder.
As directed, Fitzpatrick pulled harder, a spark flew from the nail and the nail broke, causing a piece of the nail to strike Fitzpatrick in the eye, where it was embedded in his eyeball, according to the suit.
Fitzpatrick claims he informed Blevins of the injury and requested permission to call his mother, leave for home or otherwise obtain medical attention, but Blevins refused.
The next day, Fitzpatrick sough medical treatment at Cabell Huntington Hospital's emergency department and was transported by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, where he underwent surgery to remove the foreign body, which resulted in the removal of Fitzpatrick's lens and rough laser attachment of the retina to the back of the eye, according to the suit.
Fitzpatrick claims as a result, he is now blind in his left eye.
The defendants violated Fitzpatrick's constitutional rights and caused him pain and suffering, according to the suit.
Fitzpatrick is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by J. Robert Leslie.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt.
Wayne Circuit Court case number: 12-C-024