Woman sues Verizon for work injuries

CHARLESTON -- A former Verizon Communications, Inc. employee is suing the company after she sustained injuries while participating in a pole-climbing training session.

Karen Yvette King was employed with Verizon. In June 2010, King was transferred by her employer from New Jersey to West Virginia, according to a complaint filed May 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

King claims on June 23, 2010, she was participating in a pole-climbing training session in Charleston when the wooden poles used for the session gave way and caused her to fall eight feet, hitting the ground and causing her severe and traumatic injuries to her left leg and ankle.

Following her injury, the instructor of King's training class indicated the defendant was aware of the dangerous condition of the poles, but did not want to change the poles due to the upcoming sale of its assets to Frontier Communications, which was set to take place on July 1, 2010, according to the suit.

King claims the defendant had actual knowledge and should have had knowledge of the problems and the poor conditions of the poles, yet failed to take action to correct the unsafe conditions that existed, failed to cease operations and instead continued to allow workers to perform their training under unsafe conditions.

By requiring King to work in an unsafe environment, Verizon placed her in an unsafe working condition, which presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury to King, according to the suit.

King is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Michael J. Del Giudice and Keisha D. May.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-994

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