Men say Baker Hughes employee was drinking, driving

CHARLESTON -- Two men are suing Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, Inc. after they were injured when one of its employees was drinking and driving.

James Beswick Jr., an employee of Baker Hughes, was also named as a defendant in the suits.

On June 14, 2011, Joseph Utt and Jared Sweeney were traveling north on W.Va. 2 in Marshall County when Beswick failed to yield to the right of way and crashed into the vehicle Utt was driving and in which Sweeney was a passenger, according to two suits filed Aug. 6 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Utt and Sweeney claim Beswick's blood alcohol content was .116 on the field sobriety test.

Beswick operated his employer's vehicle in a negligent, careless and reckless manner which caused the motor vehicle collision, according to the suit.

Utt and Sweeney claim Beswick was acting within the scope of his employment with Baker Hughes.

As a result of the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of the defendants, Utt sustained injuries to his neck and back, including severe herniated discs that required cervical discectomy, osteophytectomy, microforaminotomies and artifical disc placement at C5-C6 level of the spine; vision impairment; and fractured metatarsal bone in the right foot, according to the suit.

Sweeney sustained injuries to his neck, back, arm, forehead and a fracture to his left hip, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Baker Hughes was negligent in hiring, retaining and entrusting the vehicle with Beswick.

Because of the defendants' conduct, Utt and Sweeney incurred medical expenses and endured pain and suffering, according to the suit.

Utt and Sweeney are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Robert B. Warner, Tammy Bowles Raines and Travis M. Miller.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Charles E. King and Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 12-C-1574, 12-C-1576

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