CHARLESTON -- A Spencer man is suing Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC after he was injured due to the release of hydrocarbon vapors.

Signal Completion Services, LLC and H&H Oilfield Services, LLC were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Feb. 23, 2011, the defendants were performing well completion services and as part of the well completion services, the defendants were testing the wells and collecting fluids from the wells, including condensate, which consists of liquid hydrocarbons including butane and propane, according to a complaint filed July 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Russell Schoolcraft claims during the course of separating the condensate from the other fluids, the defendants released hydrocarbon vapors into the atmosphere, which are highly flammable and explosive.

During the well completion services being performed, hydrocarbon vapors were ignited, resulting in an explosion and fire, which caused severe and permanent personal injuries to Schoolcraft, according to the suit.

Schoolcraft claims the defendants were negligent in failing to monitor the well site for hydrocarbon vapors and failing to warn him and others of the existence of the vapors.

The defendants also were negligent in creating an unsafe working condition that presented a high degree of risk and strong probability of serious injury or death, according to the suit.

Schoolcraft claims the defendants knew or should have known of the unsafe working condition, which violates state and/or federal safety statutes, rules and regulations.

The defendants' actions caused Schoolcraft to sustain severe and permanent injuries, according to the suit.

Schoolcraft is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by William L. Frame.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1442

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